Friday, January 3, 2020

Write with Joy

By Andrea Merrell

Everywhere you look—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—people are choosing a buzz word for 2020. Words like peace, purpose, focus, breathe, and perseverance to name a few. But the majority have chosen the word joy.

After reading my devotion for January 1, I realized how important that word is, especially for us as writers. It seems that Handel’s “Messiah” was written in 1741 by a man with failing eyesight. He also faced the possibility of dying in a debtor’s prison because he couldn’t pay his bills. The man’s life was far from “happy.” So, what drove him to write the masterpiece in only three weeks? Pure joy.

Handel is quoted as saying he felt as if he would “burst with joy” at the words and music that filled his mind and heart. He said the music “came to him” as he feverishly put pen to paper, "driven by an unseen composer."

Not to be confused with happiness—as one source states—joy is a gift from God and is not dependent upon our circumstances. The Bible has much to say about this gift:

  • The joy of the Lord is your strength. Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV

  •  I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! John 15:11 NLT

  • You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11 NIV

  • For you shall go out with joy and be led out with peace; The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Is 55:12 NKJV

  • You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me with the joy of your presence. Acts 2:28 NLT

  •  And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. 1 John 1:4 KJV

In the midst of adverse circumstances, Handel was inspired by God to write one of the most cherished works in history. He responded to the joy of the Lord that filled him.

As we enter a new year, ask the Lord to fill you with divine inspiration. No matter what is going on in your life, write. Hear the words and stories in your heart and mind. Be driven by that same “unseen composer.”

Write with joy.

Wishing you a year filled with inspiration, opportunities, and most of all … joy.

 (Photo courtesy of and Stuart Miles.)


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