There is real joy that comes over us when we talk about the people in our lives whom we truly care about or memorable events that last a lifetime. For a moment, it’s a feeling of pure happiness— not mixed with misery of any sort. This joy is always readily available to us, especially when we realize where the root of real joy comes from. Every aspect of our lives then is filled with joy overflowing and never-ending— a state we never want to abandon.
The God we serve is a God of joy— all joy originates from Him. The NIV Bible is recorded to have the word “joy” mentioned approximately 218 times. It’s pretty amazing how “even though we have not seen him we love him; and even though we do not see him now, we believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for we are receiving the end result of our faith the salvation of our souls.” 1 Peter 1:8-9
‘Inexpressible and glorious joy‘ comes from believing in the Gospel: God sent Himself down in human form to die for the salvation of every single person. Not only that, but He rose from the grave three days later! We were brought from darkness to light. He bridged the gap so that we not only are alive now in Christ, but that life will be carried over into eternity.
Such a sacrifice deserves everything we are. We ought to share this joy we have in every aspect of our lives, from our friendships to our relationships and to our families. The ups and downs in life, as well as those high and low moments obviously aren’t constant, but through the Holy Spirit we can continuously experience joy. We’re, of course, always able to see Christ as our constant, unchanging example— our God of joy. “The world offers temporary joy, but Christ gives believers permanent joy through His death and resurrection.” Philippines 4:4 says not once, but twice, “Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS”. This shows how important it is that we are joyful and how often we should be joyful.
When we receive the power of the Holy Spirit we receive everlasting joy, which is a Fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Hopefully, we yearn to find joy in acknowledging how God sees us from His perspective and becoming confident in whom He created us to be: Chosen. Redeemed. Forgiven. Loved. Accepted. Adopted. Blessed. Sons and Daughters of the King.
Ephesians 1:11-12 says: “In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”
This inheritance is a gift; we are portions of many who have been forever changed, bringing Him honor and glory. We are a small, but significant part of the bigger, greater picture. That big picture is the end result, which is being with God for eternity.
Psalm 16:11 says: “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Without Jesus, there would be no hope of genuine joy coming from us, but now there can be! We must have a relationship with Jesus— not just ideological assent like we learned about this past week at Vespers. It’s only then will we value who we truly are— who God sees us as. It’s only then that each aspect of our lives will be radically changed. We should desire an authentic joy that comes over us when we talk about God. Every moment in His presence should truly be a feeling of pure joy, and as believers, we are confident that our relationship will last longer than a moment, but for eternity.