22 “For seven days they celebrated with joy the Festival of Unleavened Bread, because the LORD had filled them with joy by changing the attitude of the king of Assyria so that he assisted them in the work on the house of God, the God of Israel.”
Ezra 6:22 (NIV)
The presence of two things is sure to change attitudes: joy and the Lord. And the two are connected.
First, let’s look at joy ... Joy is one of the core values of the Golden State Warriors. I saw it posted on whiteboards and smelled it even more throughout their practice that I attended.
It certainly was unique, obvious and impressive. (Maybe it’s why, in part, that they’re retaining their greatness in the basketball world.)
Joy certainly scores high with our Lord too. He prizes joy even more -- 218 times the word “joy” is mentioned in the Bible. God knows that joy changes attitudes. Choosing joy changes things.
Second, note these game-changing accents the Lord calls to our attention in today’s verse:
THE LORD FILLS. Joy doesn’t come from circumstance. Joy comes from the Lord.
Joy lives above circumstance. (Happiness lives in circumstance.) Joy is found in relationship. The Lord fills with joy. As we get to know Him, our joy index rises.
THE LORD ASSISTS. Attitudes change when God gets involved. He racks up assists! He changes attitudes (even those of kings) and changes circumstances too. He gets right in the mix and changes things as we make moves that honor Him. (He even did it for me today! Hallelujah!)
Reflect: Is joy energizing, renewing and strengthening you? Do you know where/how to refill your joy when you need to? Do you need to see an attitude change in you or in others? Ask God to accomplish this.
“Now TO HIM WHO IS ABLE to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory WITH GREAT JOY, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 1:24,25 ESV).