Faith Behind The Song: 'The Joy' The Belonging Co.

Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2024 by Scott Savage

Faith Behind The Song: "The Joy" The Belonging Co.

I hate mosquitos.

Spring is almost here, with my most loathed insects set to return! Those little bugs love to suck my blood. My arms and legs often bear the signs of their love. 

However, you and I face an even bigger problem than the mosquitoes sucking the blood out of us. We have people and circumstances that act like mosquitos, removing the joy from our lives. Author Margaret Feinberg refers to these people and times as “joy-suckers.”

Because of the joy-suckers in our lives, it can feel like joy is out of reach. I was navigating one of those joy-sucking moments last week when I heard “The Joy (LIVE)” by The Belonging Co. The chorus reminded me why joy is essential to our lives as followers of Jesus.

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“O my soul, bless His Name
All that is within me say
The joy of the Lord
The joy of the Lord is my strength.”

In discussing the song, David Dennis shares his hopes for the way the song will impact listeners. “This song builds my faith, reorients my perspective, and puts a big smile on my face. It’s the kind of praise song that invites me into a deeper reality with God that goes beyond what I see and feel in the natural. Happiness entertains you, but joy from the Lord will sustain you.” 

This song has a multitude of Scripture references. For instance, in Nehemiah 8:10, the former cupbearer encouraged the people to choose joy over mourning. “Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!”

David Dennis and The Belonging Co. draw many of this song’s lyrics from the Psalms. In Psalm 103:1, David declares, “Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.”

Psalm 118:24 includes the famous declaration - “This is the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” In Psalm 23:1, David confesses, “The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.”

Within the song of Psalm 116, David praises God by saying, “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.”

This volume of Scripture references should remind us of the importance of joy. The lyrics of “The Joy (Live)” teach us two important lessons about joy.

First, joy is available to us as we become more aware of God’s love for us. 

As a pastor, many people I meet know that God loves them. For many, however, that awareness is more mental and seems theoretical. In the lives of many Jesus followers, God’s love is more of an idea than an experience. 

In her incredible book on joy, written during her battle with cancer, Margaret Feinberg speaks powerfully about how joy helps us navigate adversity. In Fight Back with Joy, Feinberg describes how “joy emanates out of the abiding sense of God’s fierce love for us.” Our joy grows as God’s love becomes our continual awareness and ongoing experience.

Second, joy is possible in any circumstance when we are aware of God’s faithfulness.

Since many of us equate joy with happiness, we tend to think that what’s happening in our lives determines our access to joy. Are things stormy? Are we feeling discouraged? Then, joy must be out of reach. Are things sunny? Are we experiencing victories and adding #blessed to our social media captions? Then, joy must be as close as a Subway or Starbucks location.

Joy, however, is bigger than our circumstances. The Psalms of David testify to joy being present in scarcity and abundance. For David, joy was rooted in who God is, what God has done, and who God had been in his life. Our circumstances change, but God’s faithfulness endures. 

Life will do its best to suck the joy out of you. The dishwasher will break the same week the car needs new tires, while the kids outgrow their shoes weeks after you purchased new pairs. The person you thought you could count on will flake out on you, and technology will fail when you need it to perform as expected. You may feel like there’s a giant spiritual mosquito sucking the joy right out of your heart. 

As you start pounding the steering wheel and scream, turn on Air1 and play “The Joy (Live).” Close your eyes and meditate on lyrics drawn from verses written thousands of years ago. Joy is available to you today! This joy - the joy of the Lord - will give you the strength to keep going even when you want to give up.

Scott Savage is a pastor, author, and speaker with the best last name in the world. Scott’s writing helps you laugh, challenges you to think, and invites you to grow. He leads Cornerstone Church in Prescott, Arizona, and watches lots of movies with his wife and three kids. You can begin Scott’s newest devotional, Discovering Joy through the Psalms, today. 

Faith Behind the SongThe Belonging CoBehind the Music

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