Christian joy is not just a giddy, light-hearted, frothy emotion. Joy is meatier than that; it has substance. It girds us up and lightens our path even through the darkest of days. “The joy of the Lord IS our strength.” Joy is not born from our past, present or future circumstances. Joy is born from a heart revelation of all God has done for us through the cross. Joy is centred on truth. No matter how difficult our present circumstances might be, we are more than conquerors, and His promises are Yes and Amen. As Christ-followers, let’s follow Christ’s example, who endured the cross for the JOY set before Him.
I don’t think Jesus was overcome with giddy anticipation of the day that would follow as He prayed in the garden. I don’t believe He leapt and danced His way down the streets of Jerusalem as he carried the cross. And yet, Jesus knew that joy would come in the morning. He held onto the joy of the promise; that was yet to be realized. That joy sustained Him through the agony of the cross.
Hebrews 12:1-3 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
No one and nothing can rob you of your joy, salvation, peace, or your relationship with God. Of course, it’s only appropriate to feel sadness and grief at times of loss. We should feel outraged by injustice toward others. There is no denying the wounds afflicted by personal attacks. However, we cannot set up camp in those places of sadness, loss, anger, and woundedness. Our loving Savior stands ready to comfort, heal, and redeem us, His blood makes provision for our restoration.
To say your joy, peace, salvation or intimacy with God has been robbed because of a person’s actions, speech, or attitude toward you, goes against biblical truth.
Romans 8: 38-39 – “I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Finding it hard to find joy? Follow David’s lead. In Psalm 103, the psalmist exhorts himself to not forget all His benefits.” (Psalm 103:2) Sit down sometime this week and prayerfully read Psalm 103 as an act of spoken worship. Read Psalm 103 and add your own list of benefits to David’s list. Carry that list in your heart. It will carry you through times when you will need that firm foundation of true joy!
Until next week,