June 11th, 2019
Granted, we live in a pressure cooker world. Stress is a way of life for the majority of people walking the planet.
While it is entirely possible to have our stress level dampen our resolve and ruin the best of days, that’s not what God has in mind for any of us.
For we are His creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time so that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10 (HCSB)
Jesus told us he came that we might have life and have that life more abundantly. So why is it we allow the devil to throw a wet rag on our Praise Party?
We are left without excuse regarding our attitude day to day. Yes, there are a lot of trials and troubles to deal with, but the one who is in you is greater than the one is in the world. As a matter of fact, the one in you, made the one is in the world. For that matter, he made the world and universe.
How is it we can sit in our pew in church and worship an all-powerful God who crafted everything we can see, hear, feel, taste, and touch, but when it comes to our joy, we perceive of him having his hands tied and we are the subjects of fate?
Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.
Romans 12:12 (HCSB)
Rejoicing is repeated joy. Joy you had, bubbling up again a second, third, … time. Joy is one thing, but rejoicing is a constant abiding joy that just keeps on coming to the surface.
Paul says put that joy out there for everyone to see. Be patient when the world comes at you with teeth, our Lord and Master has conquered sin and death and there is nothing that the world can do to harm us, that Jesus can’t turn to his glory and honor. And while you’re at it, pray with passion and persistence.
One of my absolute favorite passages has some of the shortest verses in the Bible.
16 Rejoice always! 17 Pray constantly. 18 Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (HCSB)
Three commands, eighteen words and so much power in positivity. I don’t really like that word ‘positivity’ because I feel like someone just wanted to make up a word that sounds good. But it is pretty widely used anymore, and I must say if anything screams positivity it is 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.
God is serious about prayer, serious about us giving him credit for all that he does for us, and serious about our joy.
“I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”
John 15:11 (HCSB)
Jesus is serious about us being Joyful. This passage sheds some extra light on the topic of joy for us. He wants us to be joyful and rejoicing. It’s right here in this phrase, “so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”
He wants his joy in us, so we impart that joy to the world around us. Do you think those outside of grace are going to be inspired by your demeanor, to the extent, they find themselves compelled to understand where your joy comes from?
If you respond with ‘sure’, then perhaps you have learned this truth and have put it into practice. If you can’t see your life being a beacon of the Lord’s joy drawing others to him, then you really need to pray about this and see why is that your faith hasn’t brought you to the confidence that God is greater. Because if your God is greater than he that is in the world, that is the key to unlocking joy.
If you’re not seeing that joy to the extent that you believe it should be, then examine the causes of its deficiency. There are real reasons and without exception, they all trace back to our God not being as big as our troubles in our minds.
You are commanded to have joy. Jesus wants that joy full and complete. If we are living anything short of that we are compromising our testimony.
All of our good works amount to nothing if we are not performing those works basking in the Joy of the Lord! That is what joy does in the life of a Christian. A generous application of joy in our lives translates from ‘doing good works’ to “Working Good!”
In the Grace of Jesus!