Clarksville, TN – “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10 NKJV) No wonder Jesus desired so strongly that His disciples understand that He had come, not just to buy their salvation through the cross, but also to provide them with His joy. Jesus told His disciples.
“You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.” (John 16:24 Living)
The joy of the Lord is ours for the asking. Jesus prayed for us. “But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.” (John 17:13 NKJV)Every born again Christian knows that his salvation is a free gift. We were born again of the Holy Spirit when we accepted Jesus as our Savior, by faith.
Many Christians have come to discover that there is much more to God’s gift free gift than being born again as a child of God. The baptism in the Holy Spirit can be claimed by faith. But few of us seem to have realized that Jesus has also provided us with His joy. It is there to be claimed by faith with the rest of the package.
If the joy of the Lord is our strength, then it’s obviously something we need to sustain us and strengthen us in our task of carrying the Good News around the world. Paul knew that the outward circumstances for a strong Christian would always be filled with trials and suffering.
The Christian’s source of joys was to be his inward abiding in Christ. “… The Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.” (Acts 20:23,24 NKJV)
Joy is certainly something we are meant to feel. It is to be a happy, overflowing, pleasant experience. But joy doesn’t depend on feelings. We aren’t to rejoice because we feel joyful, rather we can expect to eventually feel joyful as a result of our rejoicing. David had learned the secret of rejoicing “And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle, I will sing, yes I will sing praises of the Lord.” (Psalm 27:6 NKJV)
Jesus said to us “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NKJV)
The very thing you think is painful proof of God’s absence from your life is in fact His loving provision to draw you toward Himself so that your joy may be full! Look up and praise Him! He loves you and He dwells in the praise of His people!