Shout Aloud and Sing for Joy!

Today’s Devotional is offered by Cindy Joy

“Surely the Lord is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. 
The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation.”
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
In that day you will say: “Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing to the Lord, for he has done glorious things; let this be known to all the world. Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the holy one of Zion among you.”
~ Isaiah 12:2-6

In these opening verses of Isaiah 2, we find what has been called a ‘hymn of trust.’ Verses 1-2 represent a song of deliverance that celebrates the singer’s deliverance from great distress. God has now become his salvation. The next four verses are a song of thanksgiving as Israel makes known among the nations the wondrous deeds of Yahweh.

This past summer our high school youth and several parents had the wonderful opportunity to work in a small, poverty-stricken neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida that was heavily damaged by Hurricane Irma. Each day we encountered children, teenagers, and adults roaming the streets asking for food, looking for help, and wanting someone to listen to their stories. Already dealing with many problems, the aftermath of the hurricane brought more stress and difficulty to their lives.

One of our main projects was to do much-needed repairs on the home of a very humble gentleman named Wayne Collins. Shy at first and very leery of these people who had come all the way from North Carolina to help him, Wayne very quickly endeared himself to all of us! As a man of very limited means, living alone in his small damaged home in a neighborhood filled with poverty, drugs, and people needing so much, he had every reason to be consumed by his problems and challenges.

Instead, this amazing gentleman chose to see the positive and good things around him. As he often said, “it could be worse and is for others.” It was so obvious that his heart was blessed and full of joy because it radiated in all he did and said. Mr. Collins was there every day sharing encouragement and words of wisdom for all of us.

In Nehemiah 8:10 we read, “do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Life is a journey where paths lead us to the top of the mountain and through the deep valleys. It is through the Holy Spirit that we find the strength, wisdom, and guidance to walk to the difficult paths of life. We also find that God puts people on that path to share the journey with us. And it is here that we experience the indescribable joy of the Lord as our strength.
Thank you, God, for your ability to remove fear and frailty from our lives and restore our joy and celebration. Help us to be a light and share that joy with others. Shout aloud and sing for joy! Amen.

cindy devo photo