Joy

“His anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”—Psa. 30:5

What a blessing to know that these troubling times and their sorrows will be replaced by everlasting joy in the dawning of Christ’s Kingdom! The Scriptures tell us God is a “happy God” (1 Tim. 1:11 Rotherham) with a plan of redemption for his fallen creation. This plan is spoken of in Isaiah 51:11, “The redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” It was for that “joy set before him” (Heb. 12:2) that Jesus endured the suffering of persecutions and ultimately, the cross.  So, too, should the Christian count it joy when they prove their faith through obedience to God’s plan in the difficult experiences that result from walking in the footsteps of Jesus (Jam. 1:2).

Joy is a fruit of the Spirit essential to the Christian character (Gal. 5:22). “You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 1:6 ESV).  How can the true joy of the Lord be obtained?  The Christian can rejoice in life and all of its pursuits (Deut. 12:7), rejoice in the salvation God has offered to the faithful and the privilege to tell others about it (Psa. 20:5), rejoice  in the love of the Creator (Psa. 59:16), rejoice in the blessing to know God’s Word (Jer. 15:16), rejoice in the mercy of God’s salvation (Psa. 13:5), rejoice in going to Bible study and worship (Psa. 122:1), and even rejoice in persecution, a sign of being approved of God (1 Pet. 4:13,14).

There is so much for which to rejoice!  Rejoice in the present hardship for the development it provides for the future, and rejoice for the future with its promise of mercy, peace, and love for all mankind.  God is a god of joy, if we allow his joy to fill our hearts. Then, we will have the strength to endure all tribulation (Neh. 8:10), until that time described in Revelation 22:1,2 when all nations will know the joy of God.

“Rejoice in the Lord always;  Again I will say, rejoice!”   (Phil. 4:4 NASB).  

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