Joy, Joy, Joy

The word "joy" in colorful letters.

When was the last time you were surprised by joy during worship? Do you find your time in corporate gatherings more an act of routine than one of zeal before the Lord? Look at the faces of those around you. Do they reflect happiness and joy or a stoic resolve to get by another Sunday service?

May we shout for joy over your salvation, and in the name of our God set up our banners! (Ps. 20:5, ESV)

I did not grow up going to church or synagogue for that matter. I was a spiritual novice when I received salvation in 1973. I had no idea of what to expect as I started regular worship attendance in Tacoma, Washington. In fact, I felt so far behind everyone else, I found myself going to two places a week – one a youth service, and the other a liturgical Lutheran service in Tacoma.

The youth service focused on basic Bible discipleship, learning the ABC’s of being a follower of Christ. The liturgical service centered on going through the Lutheran hymnal each week with a sermon based on the pericope.

One weekend, a special guest speaker was invited to the church in for youth, Rev. Dr. Winston Nunes. He was the pastor of Broadway Faith Temple in Toronto. His dynamic insights to the scriptures, his quick wit and maturity vaulted him to be a pastor to pastors around North America. I was eager to hear him when he came to Tacoma.

Little did I know that not many years after that I would be leading the first foreign branch of Jews for Jesus in Toronto. Several of our core volunteers, including Pam and Rick Goring, were members of Faith Temple. Jan and I found ourselves there on many an occasion for evening services. I was often invited to speak to the church at the last minute. It was an honor to be invited by such a mentor as Dr. Nunes.

His wisdom helped me during several challenging times to see beyond the issues and ask the honest question, “What does the Lord have in store for this season and how will He bring me though?” He taught me this vital life lesson which I recall fondly: The joy of the Lord is my strength! He is with the Lord now, but his memory lives on through many like me whose life he touched.

Joy is infectious. Joy is welcoming. Joy is a fruit of the spirit. And no, joy is NOT happiness or giddiness when times are hard. Joy finds its hold on our hearts when we know the true giver of joy is the Lord who wants the very best for us.

If you want to be a beacon for the Lord to attract others, let your joy shine through.

Cherish the blessing of being in the Lord and following Him into eternity!


Steve Cohen

Steve Cohen is the founder of Apple of His Eye

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subscribe to Our Newsletter
Download Our Latest Newsletter