JOY ANCHORED AND FIRM
One of the things I look for in Christians and any church I go to, is joy. I am not referring to a surface happiness in conversation after the service is over, but the joy that springs from deep appreciation for the truth in God’s Word and the understanding we are given by the Holy Spirit. As Jesus finished His last instructions to His disciples just before His arrest and crucifixion, He said:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” (John 16:20–22).
Leonard Ravenhill says, “Joy is not created by possessions, or by positions, but by a Person (Jesus). Joy is maintained by abiding in Him, by believing in Him, by obeying Him.”(1) Perhaps your present circumstances are hindering you from having this kind of joy. As Jesus illustrates through a woman giving birth, so Jesus Himself purposely set joy before Himself and “endured the cross, despising the shame” because in a few short days He would be “seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). If you abide with Jesus through any conditions, His joy will remain anchored in your soul and no one and nothing will be able to steal it from you.
(1) Revival God’s Way, A Message for the Church, Bethany House, 2006, page 18-19.
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