Dream word – RIDE
1 Chronicles 16:26,27
“For all the Gods of the people are idols: but the Lord made the heavens. Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.” KJV
The garage of the joy wagon
Our text for tonight talks about a special place. It is in fact the open face of God, it is in fact the very presence of God and it is in the very presence of God that we shall find two most valuable and interlocking gifts, which lie like coupled golden rings on the black felt of a box of midnight blue. I am of course talking about strength and joy.
It was Adolf Hitler’s 3rd Reich, who by 1939 had streamed over 25 million of its own people through its tourism, travel and vacation program. The crowning joy of this people’s programme, this Volks programme, was of course the possibility for each German to acquire the ultimate peoples car, or as we have known it now for so long, the Volks-wagon. Interestingly, the name of the whole umbrella program was called “Kraft durch Freude,” or simply KdF, which, when translated into English means quite literally, “Strength through Joy!”
So, the concept of this powerful linkage of joy and strength was evident even in an increasingly totalitarian regime. The thought of the 3rd Reich in the implementation of its strength through joy programme was quite simple, in that, “Rested people are happy people; happy people are strong people and we need strong people, with strong nerves to get us through the changes which are to come.” For sure, the Nazis found some truth, some sustenance, some joy and some strength in this program, for they took their nation from being on the canvas of a post World War I Europe, to being the ferociously strong and heavily armed beast which would plunge Europe once again into a second World War!
Now, I am all for a good holiday, for relaxed bodies and minds to better navigate the difficult waters of life and neither would I refuse any joy or gladness and recuperative strength that comes through it! However, our text for tonight and its very own and singular partner verse in Nehemiah 8:10c, are not talking about that kind of strength and joy! No, this special couplet is not found in good vacations, in sleep or enjoyment, and no, it’s not even found in the promise of material blessing, even the material blessing of a Volks-Wagon for everyone!
This particular couplet of courage, for what is courage but the coupling of strength and joy, comes only from the face of God, comes only from being in the presence of Him who made the heavens. When you stand in the triune but singular ring of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, rings of glory, rings of honour, rings of strength and joy shall be found to the real treasure of the you, the divine Olympiad, for there is a permanent and supernatural strength and joy that in Olympian terms, simply supersedes whatever temporary “knock offs” seem to be on offer down here.
When the outbreak of war demanded the production capacity of the Volks-Wagon factory and its product, despite all the payments made by those hundreds of thousands of Germans, no one really got their nice new strength and joy wagon. Tell you what, if you want to be certain of a good ride in a great joy wagon, then you need to know where it is permanently garaged, for you cannot have the “the joy of the Lord” without first having the “the Lord of the joy.” Yes, you cannot have “the strength of the Lord” without having “the Lord of strength!”
Jesus has the keys of both death and hell around His waist and I wonder if he keeps a spare set of keys to His joy wagon, hidden in His right hand pocket?
Listen: “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” - Psalms 16:11 NKJV.
Pray: Teach me Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ my Lord, how to abide in Your presence. Oh, and Dad! Can I have the keys for the joy wagon tonight? I can! Thanks!
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