BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS
#948 - "Joy" by Tori Harper
The up-and-coming teen sensation shares her joy about her debut single.
 


BEHIND THE SONG WITH KEVIN DAVIS, #948 -
Posted: November 21, 2018 | By: KevinDavis_NRT
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New artist Tori Harper has been introduced to CCM fans with her standout debut single, "Joy" from her debut album Seasons EP. The album is a great introduction to her music ministry. It includes the standout songs, "After Dark" and "Seasons."

According to a press release: "Nineteen-year-old Tori’s original songs are meant to speak truth over people, as she vulnerably shares her experiences and the ways in which she has seen God work in her own life. Wrestling with depression, Tori was divinely reminded that 'God sees her.' This became a turning point in her journey that sparked a renewed commitment to Christ. As God began to reveal more of Himself to Tori, and as she began to firmly root her identity in Christ, she became acutely aware of others’ heartaches. Her songs are an effort to respond to people's hurt from a place of deep authenticity and relatability." 

Tori’s songs have connected with my daughters and her biblically-inspired lyrics represent how true happiness and her identity comes from her relationship with God. I had the chance to speak with Tori about her song "Joy."


Please tell me the personal story behind the song.

"Joy" is personal to me. I’ve dealt a lot with the Enemy throwing all of the negative things about life and how even when my circumstances didn’t look that great in my face. But, the Lord has been showing me through writing this song that joy is so much deeper than happiness. And, it doesn’t depend on your circumstances. It depends on God. And, he's constant and faithful and we can depend on Him. We can depend on His faithfulness.

I feel like the joy we can have comes from knowing Him, and knowing that He promises us that He'll work everything out for good--and He’s always working for our good. Because of that, we can have hope. And, it’s even more solid than hope, because we know the final story and He has the final say. We get joy from knowing that everything is going to work out. We get joy from His presence. That’s the story behind this song.

Which Bible verses connect to the message of the song?

Psalm 28:7 (NLT): "The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving."
 
Psalm 16:11 (NKJV): "You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
 
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV): "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart."

Romans 8:28 (VOICE): "We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan."

Philippians 1:6 (NIV): "Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
 
Philippians 4:13 (NKJV): "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

1 John 4:18 (NKJV): "There is no fear in love; but, perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But, he who fears has not been made perfect in love."
 
Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJV): "Then he said to them, 'Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.'"
 
Philippians 4:7 (NKJV): "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
 
Philippians 4:11-13 (NKJV): "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

What is the takeaway message?

I love the passage in Nehemiah 8:10 and how it says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength." This song came from God showing me that joy is more permanent than happiness, and how joy is accessible at any time, even in hard times. This is because we get joy from the hope we have in Jesus Christ; the hope that since we've become children of God, one day He'll wipe away every tear. Everything now has a purpose. Through the good and through the bad, He’s with us. He’s not promising that we’re not going to have trials or we’re not going to have issues, but He does promise that He’s going to be with us right through those things; and in the end, He’s going to use that somehow for good and for His glory. You get joy from being in the presence of the Lord. He's so wonderful that you can’t help but be filled with joy when you are in His presence.

Lyrics:
Tears try to drown it out
When you're walking through the fire
When the voices drag you down
But you can't fight it 'cause you're tired

I can feel it is rising inside my soul
I surrender it all, let You take control
'Cause

Your joy is greater than a thousand sorrows and
Your love will conquer all of my tomorrows
It fills my heart, the sound of Your song
And now I'm dancing all day long
I love to feel Your joy
Oh, I love to feel Your joy

It will find you in the deep
When you think there's no way out
It is comfort, it is peace
And you're never gonna hear a more beautiful sound

I can feel it is rising inside my soul
I surrender it all, let You take control
'Cause

Your joy is greater than a thousand sorrows and
Your love will conquer all of my tomorrows
It fills my heart, the sound of Your song
And now I'm dancing all day long
I love to feel Your joy
Oh, I love to feel Your joy

It's always there, I feel it now
It fills me up, I pour it out
It's always there, I feel it now
It fills me up, I pour it out
It's always there, I feel it now
It fills me up, I pour it out
It's always there, I feel it now
It fills me up, I pour it out

Your joy is greater than a thousand sorrows and
Your love will conquer all of my tomorrows
Your joy is greater than a thousand sorrows and
Your love will conquer all of my tomorrows
It fills my heart, the sound of Your song
And now I'm dancing all day long
I love to feel Your joy
Oh, I love to feel Your joy
Oh, I love to feel Your joy
Oh, I love to feel Your joy 


Closing Thoughts

We can have joy and worship loudly about the love of God in our lives. God promises us in His Word that His mercies are new every morning. Whatever struggle or depression we face, we know that God is with us, always. I can perfectly relate to every word Tori gorgeously sings in this song. The tendency as a believer is to focus on the blessings we've received from God and this song is a gut check of my faithfulness. If all of those things were removed from me, would I still understand that I'm blessed and cling to God for my security and hope?
 
Dictionary.com defines "Happy" as "characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy: a happy mood; a happy frame of mind." Regardless of our circumstances, we need to truly be free in Christ and be happy and filled with joy, like Paul and Silas in prison. One of the greatest witnesses that followers of Jesus can demonstrate to non-believers to show them the upside down Kingdom of God is to live out the words of this song, and have that inner-joy, which is supernatural, and shows observers of Christians walking through valleys that they have the hope and joy of the love of God and live out His plans for them and not forsake Him.

God doesn't promise to spare us from pain, but we need to trust Him. We have to trust Him and wait on Him. Wait for Him to orchestrate the plans for our lives. We have nothing to bring to God. Maybe we expect something in return, instead of recognizing that nothing compares to the greatness of knowing Jesus. Faith is when we are empty of ourselves and filled with Him and His Holy Spirit. In connection with Thanksgiving this week, reflect on Psalm 28:7: "The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving."

As for Tori Harper's beautiful song, "Joy," I can’t get enough of the song's worshipful chorus, "Your joy is greater than a thousand sorrows and, Your love will conquer all of my tomorrows, It fills my heart, the sound of Your song and now I'm dancing all day long, I love to feel Your joy." Amen to that.
 

NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.

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