The Joy Effect

The Joy Effect

Well, I’ve got so much to post about that I think I’ll be posting twice a month for a little while. This is what happens when you set songwriting goals for quarantine, and the Spirit shows up and you are like, “wow”.

​The Joy Effect is one of my old songs that I chose to rewrite.  It is from Psalm 126.  I originally wrote this song ten years ago in college, when studying the Psalms of ascents with a small group Bible study from church.  Feel free to check it out – it’s a short Psalm!  The second verse originally caught my attention.  It says, “Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.  Then it was said among the nations, ‘The Lord has done great things for them.'”  I really liked this thought:  that our joy is not only contagious, but it is noticeably different than how the rest of the world operates.  When others see the Lord’s joy in us, they say, “Wow.  The Lord must have done this.”  I don’t know about you, but that is what I want people to say about me!

The song itself was kind of a mediocre, happy song without much depth until that thought in the bridge.  So, I knew I wanted it to be more than it was.  But, I also knew that I loved that thought and I’d like to see the bridge of the song survive.

So, here recently I was meditating on that Psalm and realizing that later, there is a lot of sorrow in this song about joy. “Restore our fortunes, Lord…those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.  Those who go out weeping carrying seed to sow will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”  God’s people were praising Him for their return to exile, but also recognizing that they had not all been able to return.  There was still much amiss – so much that the wanted to see set right.  Didn’t Jesus himself say, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.”  Those who long to see the world made right, because we recognize that it’s not there yet.  But, we can also have joy, seeing what God has already done, how He is bringing His kingdom, and what He will certainly still do.  

I think joy is so much more powerful when looking at it through the lens of sorrow…I think that is what I have learned from this Psalm.  That we serve a God who can bring about the impossible, even if it seems slow coming to us right now.  He is able to bring joy from really hard situations.  Nothing that we sow does He waste.  Here’s The Joy Effect!

The Joy Effect

To see a wasteland cured
To glimpse a gladness born
Inside a soul once filled with sorrow is not unlike a dream
For every tear that falls 
From those who toil long
Darkens earth that sprouts with song and greater things

It’s JOY, up from the soil just like the grain
That shows day by day little gain
Yet over time the miracle takes shape

This, this is evidence:
There’s hope in barren land
Redemption where we have wept
For where one seed dies, He multiplies the harvest

So we watch it grow
Spreading where its roots take hold
Just like a river sets its course to the sea
Can you keep a wildflower tame?
Back to life from winter’s gray
No, it cannot be contained, so set it free

It is flowing from the chosen: An unstoppable tide
Rushin’ down the mountainsides
‘Til every ridge and valley comes alive
As it spreads through the plains, overtaking everything
All peoples, all nations
You can hear them say,

This, this is evidence:
There’s hope in barren land
Redemption where we have wept
The One Seed died and raised to life this harvest
We, we are evidence:
There’s hope in barren land
Redemption where we have wept
For where one seed dies, He’ll raise to life a harvest again

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