We fight for joy with the weapon of a joyful heart. There’s no question we live in a world that wants to steal our joy. Cynicism, circumstance, doubt, and negative self-talk are on the prowl for the believer’s joyful heart. And the amazing thing is that the joyful heart is the very weapon needed in that fight.
A Weapon in the Battle
In February I wrote about 7 things that Scripture tells us about joy. You can see that the final three go hand in hand:
- Joy Must Be Fought For
- Joy is a Weapon
- The Joy of the Lord is our Strength
More often than not, joy is a choice. Essentially, we can choose to be joyful. We can lay hold of it, or we can discard it and choose to be swallowed by something else. A strong dichotomy? Maybe. But I want to tell you that the weapon of a joyful heart is one that is stronger than most others. To express joy is to win.To express joy is to win. Click To Tweet
The Song of Joy
I believe one of the chief reasons Scripture instructs and encourages us to sing is that song is a powerful weapon. It is light that pushes back the darkness that wars for our souls. Melody makes aggressive waves against evil forces. After all, what thing could confuse and infuriate the enemy more than the hopeful song of a child of God?The believer's song is light that pushes back the darkness. Click To Tweet
Music has the power to open us up to things beyond ourselves, and to unlock places inside of us that have been hidden. Because the movement of melody and rhythm help to unearth emotions and cement lyrics in our minds and hearts in a way nothing else can. That’s why we often remember Sunday’s songs better than sermons. Their words of truth swirl around our heads with melody and arm us for defence against lies and discouragement. And as we let the song pour out of our mouths, we wield a weapon of hope against despair.
Please hear me: A joyful heart expressed in song is not just for the singer. Our celebrity culture has convinced so many that singing is only for the elite. But, singing is an absolute necessity for every believer. When you regularly pour yourself out in songs to the Lord, you will not easily give in to sin.When you regularly pour yourself out in songs to the Lord, you will not easily give in to sin. Click To Tweet
A joyful song will strengthen you against temptation and discouragement, self-exaltation and hopelessness.
If you are happy, sing your joy.
When you are suffering, sing your need.
If you are tempted to sin, sing your dependence.
When you have sinned, sing your confession.
If you are weak, sing your strength.
When you are forgiven, sing your freedom.
We see the weapon of a joyful heart winning the battle in the story of King Jehoshaphat, found in 2 Chronicles 20:1-29. A formidable army declared war on his people, and he knew it spelled inevitable disaster. King Jehoshaphat stood before his people and praised the Lord, declaring his hope in God’s protection. And then God gave him some unusual instructions: He said that Jehoshaphat needed to put the singers at the front of his army as they went to battle. Their sole purpose was to sing praises to God and rejoice! With the song in front, God said that Jehoshaphat’s army wouldn’t even need to fight!
Jehoshaphat’s response to God in that moment was to bow low in worship. And all of his people stood and praised God with a loud shout. In that moment, their praise was the voice of their inner joy – their trust in God. And God’s unusual strategy proved victorious! The weapon of joy defeated the oncoming army. The enemy army was confused. They turned against one another and destroyed themselves! King Jehoshaphat’s victory was only attributable to facing opposition and darkness with a joyful heart in joyful song.
Find it. Learn it. Sing it. Win.
So we need to arm ourselves for battle. If hopeful song from a joyful heart is a weapon against despair and hopelessness, cynicism and self-exaltation, how do we find songs to learn and sing in our everyday lives? Hopefully your arsenal is being filled every weekend in your worship services. I want to give you a great list of songs to download or stream. I’ll help you find them. Then you can learn them, sing them, and WIN with joy!
Few writers these days war with joy as well as Rend Collective. Their essence of sung faith is celebration and hope. Their heart cry is to push back the darkness with joyful song. Check out The Art of Celebration and As Family We Go (Deluxe Edition)
Lyrics like “We cast aside our shadows, trust You with our sorrows,” will be prepare you to push back the dark with joyful hearts! I guarantee your soul will lift.
Travis Ryan is another artist gifted to bring strong songs of hope. Check out Until My Voice Is Gone is gone to learn lyrics like: “No other hope can make our hearts courageous, No other peace can make us stand up brave; No other Love has earned our full affection, No other God deserves our highest praise.”
There are SO many awesome songs that we can use to make the soundtrack of our lives as we bring God’s Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. Paring down a list of recommendations is an incredible challenge! But here is a free printable of some awesome songs for war. I hope these encourage you, lift your soul, and undergird your joyful heart.
What about you? What songs are your weapons of joy? Share in the comments below!