Phil Wickham’s Hymn of Heaven Devotional Series: “House of the Lord” [Day 3]

One of the most unique aspects of having faith in Jesus is the joy that it brings. Other religions might use fear, shame, or manipulation to maintain compliance, but the freedom that we have in Jesus brings joy and peace beyond understanding – regardless of our circumstances.

In today’s devotional, Phil shares a behind-the-scenes look into the writing of “House of the Lord“, and how God used the process to change his heart.

(Just joined us for the series? Start with Day 1.)

I wrote this song when I wasn’t “feeling” it. I had to come to God in faith believing that, though happiness comes and goes, joy is always accessible in Jesus no matter what the circumstance. I wrote it to remind my heart who God is, what He has done, and who I am in Him. By the time I was done writing it, my perspective had changed. No longer was I asking, “Why, God?!” with an angry fist in the air. Instead, I was asking, “What are You up to, Father?” with true excitement to see how He was going to work in the midst of a difficult time.

One of the remarkable features of the New Testament is how often the theme of joy comes up in multiple letters by multiple authors in the midst of widespread and intense persecution. This was one of the great marks on the early church! James encourages his community to “Consider it pure JOY, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” (James 1:2). The Apostle Peter reminds the church he leads that, “You believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious JOY, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet. 1:8-9).

A friend of mine recently shared a quote with me that he heard: “Happiness is based on happenings, but joy is based on Jesus.” Somewhat “Sunday school” vibes here, I know, but still so true! Because Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, joy is always accessible in Him. For in Jesus, there is always life, healing, resurrection, victory, grace, forgiveness, and hope. Thank you, God!

Here are a few ways we can live into joy today:

1. The Bible talks about joy, not just as a noun, but as a verb. This means we can “choose” joy. Set your eyes on Jesus, turn up some worship music, and worship with gladness.

2. Galatians 5 says that joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Take a minute and pray that you would be filled with the Spirit of God.

3. Make a commitment to replace some of the things that may bring you down with ways to encounter the presence of God.

Choosing joy isn’t always the easy thing to do. In fact, we often aren’t capable of having joy on our own strength. But thankfully, we serve a great God who takes our battles on for us. If we desire joy, all we have to do is turn our lack of joy over to Him and allow Him to fill us up so that we can radiate His love and joy to those around us.

When was a time that you felt joy when it didn’t make sense? We’d love to hear how God has worked in your life!

Not a reader? Watch today’s devotional on YouTube instead:

View the whole series

DAY 1: Battle Belongs

DAY 2: Hymn of Heaven

DAY 3: House of the Lord

DAY 4: It’s Always Been You

DAY 5: Where I’m Standing Now

DAY 6: Reason I Sing

DAY 7: His Name Is Jesus

DAY 8: 1,000 Names

DAY 9: Falling In Love

DAY 10: Look to Jesus

DAY 11: God of Revival

DAY 12: Heart Full of Praise




  1. Dawn on August 3, 2022 at 2:37 pm

    My heart has been broken for many years over my children. All of whom I love very much. PTL, when you come to be a child of God, you have a new family. I miss my children. Yet I have this Joy that fills my heart every day even when my circumstances have not changed with my children that only comes from knowing the hope of Jesus.
    I want to be more consistent in asking this question “What are You up to, Father?” and “No longer was I asking, “Why, God?!” with an angry fist in the air.
    Thank you for these devotionals, the motivational statements, and the questions. They cause me to think, pray and act. Blessings to you all.

    • star933 on August 4, 2022 at 9:36 am

      We’re so glad you were encouraged, Dawn!

  2. Mo on August 8, 2022 at 9:56 pm

    I felt joy in the midst of my shattered life. My joy came to me when I realized that I could choose joy. I could choose gratitude, I could choose praise and I could choose to live, despite..

    • star933 on August 9, 2022 at 10:16 am

      Praise God!

  3. VivianA on August 9, 2022 at 1:49 am

    When there was a recession ,..that resulted in loss of all of my paying work , this casuing me to wonder how I was going to live, .. and was with true joy of the Lord still , and His perfect peace within. I even shared with God how amazing it was that I am with such joy within , when all is as it was in the immediate world. It truly was without making any sense, and that is what led me to speaking with God about it, realizing that it was because Jesus is in my heart the Holy Spirit within. There are other times also , but this comes to mind.

    • star933 on August 9, 2022 at 10:00 am

      It’s amazing how the Holy Spirit brings us peace in times of trial! Thank you so much for sharing.

      • VivianA on August 13, 2022 at 2:28 am

        Amen. You are truly welcome.

Leave a Comment