THE JOY OF THE LORD IS OUR STRENGTH: WHAT HAVE WE LEARNED?
Our first Sunday of the year was January 2 and now we have almost completed the entire month of January! We are well into 2022 and we have reached the last sermon in our series The Joy of the Lord is Our Strength. The sermon is, What have we Learned? It is our hope that you have learned specific things along the way that will help you find the joy that God wants to give to every believer. Yet, we know that the battle is not over and we will continue to struggle with the forces, circumstances, and emotions that drain us of strength and joy. This week we turn to Psalm 103:1-14. This Psalm celebrates the joy of the Lord and it gives us a clear window to God’s heart for each of us. God wants to meet us in the difficulties, uncertainties, and problems to bring us healing, renewal, and compassion. It was clear that King David’s praise emerged from the power that he had experienced as he encountered the difficulty of his life, but do these words give us any indication that God will help us? Yes, of course! David’s joyful song also communicates to us the anchors of our souls that lead us to proclaim, “The joy of the Lord is our strength!” We continue to pray that God’s grace will shine upon you as your read Psalm 103:1-14 and the burdens of your heart will be lifted! Psalm 103:1-14: Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 2 Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits– 3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, 5 who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. 7 He made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel: 8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love 9 He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; 10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. 11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; 12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; 14 for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. (NIV)