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Inspired and Sustained by Joy

Have you ever listened to a great choir sing the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah? Most people have at least listened to part of it, whether Christians or not. It is incredibly uplifting. It was clearly inspired by God and, amazingly, Handel wrote the entire Messiah in just three weeks. He said that the music literally “came to him” in a flurry of notes and motifs. So fast did God download it to him that Handel wrote frantically to try and keep up with what the ‘Great Composer’ was giving him.

That would be incredible enough, but the circumstances he found himself in at the time were very grim; enough to prevent most men or women from doing achieving anything. It was written at a time when his eyesight was failing. He was alone. He was also facing the very likely threat of being forced to die in a debtors’ prison because of a mountain of outstanding debt.

For many, reading this ‘Seed’ at this massively testing time, being able to create something wonderful might seem impossible. We can list the many problems facing us and be encouraged by the enemy of our souls to focus on our problems. Therefore. we need to ask ourselves how Handel was able to do what he did when faced with so much stress, fear, worry and loneliness. Handel credits the completion of his masterpiece to one single thing. joy. He is even quoted as saying that he felt he would “burst with joy” at what he was actually hearing in his mind and heart as he raced through those three weeks in creating a masterpiece.

He was convinced he would die before seeing his oratorio be performed, but he lived. He also saw it succeed in raising a great deal of money for the poor and destitute and become a hugely famous piece of music. Joy. What the enemy really wants is your joy. Don’t give it to him. If you feel joyless as you read this, then go to the One who promises that “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” John 15:11. Notice that our joy comes from the Lord (‘My joy’) and that it is to ‘remain in you’. As we turn to Jesus, He will give us His joy and we are to ensure it remains in us. Don’t give it away or let anyone steal it from you.

With that joy filling you and inspiring you, ask the Lord what He would have you do. Write a book, paint pictures, email/text/phone people in need and encourage them, work on something you have wanted to for years, but have been too busy. Now is the time. From today onwards be inspired and sustained by His joy remaining in you.

strong>Prayer: Dear Lord, right now I ask You to fill me with Your unspeakable joy. I choose to focus on You and not my situation, to lift my head up and look to You for strength and inspiration. I choose not to give that joy away or let the enemy steal it from me. Guide me by Your Holy Spirit as to what to do for You and for others during this time. Help me to be amazed at what I achieve in Your strength. Amen.
 

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Scripture

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10b, NIV

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Today's Writer

Philip Asselin Philip is on the associate ministry and teaching teams at Glyndley Manor. He, and his wife Gillian, attended the second Healing Retreat at Glyndley Manor in 1992, and were greatly helped. They have two grown-up children, a daughter living locally and a son in California. They have two young grandchildren and one step-granddaughter. Their desire is to see people set free to serve God.

Philip Asselin


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