Christian joy is not just a giddy, light-hearted, frothy emotion. No, it’s meatier than that, it has substance. Joy is a bedrock we can build upon. It has endurance; it is strong enough to gird us up through even the darkest of days.
Nehemiah 8:10 -“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Note, it is his joy that is our strength, not necessarily our own.
When life is difficult, and you face seemingly insurmountable obstacles; when loved ones disappoint you, and financial loss looms over you, it is in those moments that you must lean upon the joy that is based on faith in God’s goodness and His promises over you. This life-sustaining strength is born from a heart revelation of everything Christ accomplished for us on the cross. It is centred in our sure hope. In the end, no matter how difficult your present circumstances might be, you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37), and His promises are Yes and Amen. (2 Corinthians 1:20)
Follow Christ’s example who endured the cross for the joy set before Him. He knew that joy would come in the morning. He endured unbelievable suffering, holding on to the joy of the promise not yet realized in the flesh. We were that joy. He kept his eyes fixed on us!
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.”
Christian joy is based on faith in God’s goodness and His promises. It’s more than an emotional response to things that make us happy.
Read Paul’s letter to the Philippians this week and take note of all the times he uses the word, joy. Remember, the old saint wrote this letter while in prison in Rome.Paul had endured torture, whippings, stonings, shipwrecks, and deep betrayal. His days were numbered, he had suffered greatly for his faith and yet, he remained joyful. Paul was a human being, just like the rest of us and yet he endured to the end. He stood on the bedrock of joy.
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All Bible verses attributed to the ESV version unless otherwise indicated.
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Until Next Week,
©2020 Katherine Walden