Archive for December 17th, 2013

Do Not Let the World Steal Your Joy

December 17th, 2013

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 16:22

We have a Risen Lord! Who can top that?! What could possibly be so great a miracle among humanity other than to come out of the tomb after having been there during three days? After having endured a gruesome interrogation and a public execution, after having a spear run up into the heart and lungs, after the deceased body was abandoned in a cold tomb, wrapped tightly in burial clothes, and then to come out in power and life – what could anyone ever imagine that would be greater than that?

Assurance of Authority: The miracle reveals the authority of Christ over this world and even over death, and it reveals the power of God at work in our world and in our lives. We have joy in Him because of the assurance of this sovereign authority. The “joys” of the world are of short duration because they are sought in the world’s temporary things, and they have no eternal authority behind them, but in Christ we have lasting authority and power. What He does endures for all eternity.

Comfort of His Compassion: His resurrection was associated with His sacrificial death and His eternal love for us. He endured the cross for the joy set before Him and that joy was to bring us to heaven with Him. The Lord is now able to personally appear before each believer and through His Spirit work His joy into our hearts. The world’s “joy” is sought in things, not personality, or in loyalty, but in Christ what we have is an eternal Friend who will never leave us.

Joy in Daily Life: The nature of the joy that Christ gives cannot be destroyed by the world without our permission. The world will surely try to take our joy from us, but through our faith in Him we will find that our joy will remain secure. Our faith does not stand alone, but it rests upon His Word and it is strengthened by His Spirit. The world’s “joy” is normally based on events – if good things happen we can be glad – or in a positive mental attitude, but we have an eternal Friend who indwells us by His Spirit.

Have you seen a sports hero, someone who has made the winning score at the last moment of a tight contest, and rather than standing there alone basking in the spotlight, they rush up into the stands where their wife or parents or a close friend sits and share the moment with them. They shared their joy with others, and that is what Christ does. He is like the victor at a great sporting event who overcomes every obstacle, breaks through the finish line, and then looks into the stands of the thousands who are there and catches your eye, looks at you face-to-face – and it is as though there are only two in the whole universe, you and Jesus.

The world will try to convince us otherwise, and when we feel our joy slipping away we need to remember that we have let the world take it away. All tension and stress and unhappiness has an element of personal choice. We are unhappy because we have chosen to be. Of course, we endure our losses in life, and we do weep and are often sad due to legitimate concerns, but these are temporary and fleeting for the true believer. But chronic unhappiness is due to our own choice – we have allowed the world to steal our inheritance of joy earned for us by Christ and bestowed upon us by grace.

If you joy has gone, stop now and reclaim it in Christ. Consider again His authority over all that limits and destroys, His compassion for you and His hopes and plans for your life, and His presence with you now by His Spirit. Be determined not to aid the world in its effort to steal your joy, but work with the Spirit, keep in step with Him, as He leads you to a great and profound and eternal joy.

John 14-17