Debi Pearl heads the chapter with this verse, "The joy of the Lord is my strength." Probably this is the most important statement she could have made. Constant joy simply cannot be manufactured from our determined willpower. Nor can the "joy of the Lord" be dependent on our husbands. Please recall that part of the fruit of the Spirit of God is joy, and understand that He alone can be the source of unfailing joy.
Marriage can be the source of a certain measure of happiness and laughter. But husbands are human and they are sinners. We cannot think that having a good-humored approach to circumstances will cause our husbands to see things our way, or cause them to be more godly and considerate. Rather, we should rejoice in the Lord always, because no matter what our circumstances are, He is greater than both our joys and trials and will be glorified in them.
I say this with caution: sometimes our joy and our merry hearts can be an irritation to our husbands. There is a time for everything, a time to laugh and a time to weep. God has made everything beautiful in His time, and we should obey Him for His pleasure.
That said, I want to say that this chapter grated on me a little the first time (or maybe the first few times) I read it, because Debi kept talking about sickliness being connected with being uncheerful. To make a long story short, I, who was continually sickly, determined to prove that maintaining cheerful thoughts would not improve my health.
Thankfully, I proved Debi right. "The joy of the Lord is my strength," and "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."
Other passages about God's involvement in my healing: Psalm 103:1-6, Proverbs 3:1-10, and Isaiah 40:28-31.
Touched by this Poem that was read on Sunday before communion - Before I take the body of my Lord Before I share his life in bread and wine I recognize the sorry things within These I lay down The words of hope I often ...
9 months ago