Many of my recent devotionals have been directed towards assisting others with the despair and difficult concerns that are found in life. Certainly, the daily dose of the news that dripples out of our televisions, radios, and social media sites eats away at our spirit like a fast-moving river cuts into a shoreline.
When we look at Scripture we can’t help but recognize the joy of our salvation. The joy that surrounds us as we witness God’s great creation. The joy family and close friends bring. And as we see in His word the delight God takes in loving His children. These thoughts bring special emotions and a sense of peace (and joy) to our hearts and minds.
Our attention is often directed to the two shortest verses in the Bible noting that “Jesus wept” is the shorter of the two (John 1:35). But in the Greek, we find this “shortest” verse really has three words; whereas, the verse from 1 Thessalonians 5:16 (Rejoice evermore) has only two. However, one surely can see the lovely connection between the two verses. The Christian’s joy flows from the sympathy and grace of their Savior. Because Jesus wept over the plight of mankind and willingly gave His life — now we rejoice evermore.
Haydn, the great musician and composer, was once asked why his church music was so cheerful, he replied: “When I think upon God, my heart is so full of joy that the notes dance and leap, as it were, from my pen, and since God has given me a cheerful heart, it is only right that I serve Him with a cheerful spirit.”
Despite the plight of our world today and the concerns that come with living in a fallen world, I encourage you to think about the joy of our salvation. Knowing that God loves each of us so much that He gave His only begotten Son to die on Calvary’s Cross suggests that we have much to be thankful for in return.
During this special time of year when we hear the great hymns of the season, remember to “listen to the joy” that comes with the gift of Christ Jesus. His life and sacrifice are truly “Joy to the World”.
“We’re depending on God; he’s everything we need. What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own His holy name. Love us, God, with all you’ve got — that’s what we’re depending on.” (Psalm 33:20-22 MSG)
How can we apply this verse from the apostle Paul to our lives? “Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.” Phil. 4:1
What do you suppose is meant by, “Enter into the joy of the Lord”?