You CAN buy JOY!!!
Author: Ryan Internicola
Have you got heaviness? Are you burnt out? Are you mourning any losses? Congratulations!!! You’ve got the currency required to purchase joy! I’m so happy for you!
I guess I should explain before you stone me!
A worship leader friend of mine recently noted that “heaviness” has been showing up on her spiritual radar. She feels it in herself and in others around her. When she shared this, I realized I’ve also been seeing it all around me. Specifically, worshippers and worship leaders getting bogged down with depression, exhaustion and heaviness. It makes perfect sense.
Isaiah 61:3 (I recommend you read the whole chapter! It’s talking about Jesus’ anointing which is now YOUR anointing!)
“To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
I’ve emboldened the “worship words” in this passage (remember, every passage is about worship!)
“Beauty” Worshipper, you are anointed to express and respond to the beauty of God! The priestly garments were designed “...for glory and for beauty.” (Exodus 28:2.) It’s no wonder your enemy would attack you in this area and try to burn you out (“ashes”.) Meditate on this: beauty is the antidote for burnout!
“Joy” We are joy-bombs! The joy of the Lord is our strength! (Nehemiah 8:10.) Again, it makes sense that the devil would seek to sap our strength by stealing our joy and get us mired in mourning. It’s ok to mourn: there is actually a blessing available in it called “comfort” (Matthew 5:4) but, for a limited time ONLY! I love Psalm 30:5, “...Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” Mourning is only allowed to last for a night! Then, it’s time for a new MORNING with new mercies!
“Praise” This one is obvious, right? We’re a people of praise! The former praise-leader of heaven is not happy because he lost his job (failure to deliver the praise to the only One to Whom is it due!) Jealousy drives him to try and squash our praise under the spirit of heaviness.
Check this out:
Psalm 8:2 says “From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength Because of Your adversaries, To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.”
Now, when Jesus (the Living Word of God) quotes this passage in Matthew 21:16, He says “...‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’...”
Hmm… either Jesus (the Living Word of God) got the scriptures wrong, or… He’s trying to tell us something! Perhaps He’s saying there is power in praise! Power to make the enemy and the revengeful CEASE!
“Glorified” God wants to firmly plant, establish and stabilize us so that we can glorify Him to the fullest! The enemy seeks to uproot, disturb, destabilize and shake us with wind and waves so that our glory is, at best, inconsistent. We must planting ourselves firmly in the voice of God, refusing to entertain ANY other voices, even for a moment! As we do this, living waters will flow from our lives, we will be fruitful, we will not wither and everything we do will prosper! (Psalm 1.) And God gets ALL the glory!
Man! Beauty, joy, praise and glory sound pretty good! Don’t they? I bet you want some! Well, it’s time to pay up! See, there is an exchange here:
“...beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…”
If you want beauty, you’re going to have to trade in your ashes. Whatever is burned-down in your life, wherever you are burned-out, trade it in for some beauty now.
If you want that oil of joy you’re going to have to give up the mourning; it’s time is up anyways! Cash it in for a new MORNING of joy!
Tired of wearing the frumpy, gray sweater of heaviness? You can trade it in for a smoking-hot garment of praise! (Now don’t go blaming me for inappropriate wardrobe choices in church!)
Last thing: this is a purchase, a payment, a sacrifice of praise (Hebrews 13:15.) There can be a certain sting when you lay the money down on the table; a little pain in the pocket when you pay-up. It can hurt to spend your savings, even if it is just a pile of ashes. I’m saying you may not feel the joy first. It’s going to take some faith, i.e. action. You may have to dance before you feel beautiful. You may have to sing before you feel the joy. You may have to jump and shout and all-around freak-out before you feel any lighter. That’s ok. It’s worth it. Pay the price. You deserve it.