Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Receiving Joy In His Grace!

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Is there a component of happiness in rejoicing? Sure, we like to rejoice and are happy in that circumstance. Is that all there is though? I wouldn't say that. It seems that happiness will fail in the testing.

Lose your freedom and languish in prison for a time, and happiness would likely give way to a different attitude. It's hard to be happy in a hospital bed when the nurse approaches with yet another shot of something. Paul knew about prison and the time it takes to recover from serious injury, yet he wrote about joy. His happiness faltered as death approached in a cold prison cell and he complained of people leaving him alone and the need for a coat. That just makes me respect the great apostle all the more. So what is this rejoicing with the root of joy that we are to do always in the Lord?

Perhaps it is like the recruit still in boot camp trying to understand what it is like to be a soldier. Can the baby in the incubator understand what it is like to be a child in our culture? Let us hope not, but that does provoke a thought or two. Joy and rejoicing must come from elsewhere. We can be happy depending upon the circumstance, but joy it seems must come from a joyous place, like say Heaven or the heart of God our Father. Jesus and His Spirit within us could well be that fount of joy we have. The inexplicable knowledge that all will turn our just wonderfully though we must face terrible trials in this short time must come from someone who knows what our future holds. For if joy were circumstantial like happiness, I could see little reason for an enduring joy from the things of this age. If that were the case, one look at any news source on most any day should serve to dash all joy from us. But it doesn't; there is a God and He is good. His joy rests in us, and it is difficult to explain from this side of eternity.

Have a joyous day in Christ, and may He send a big dose of happiness our way too!


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