Joy In The Lord

“But He knows the way I take;
When He has put me to the test,
I will come out as gold.”
Job 23:10 (NASB)

“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.”
Psalm 95:1-2 (NIV)

“And the redeemed of the Lord will return
And come to Zion with joyful shouting,
And everlasting joy will be on their heads.
They will obtain gladness and joy,
And sorrow and sighing will flee away…”
Isaiah 51:11 (NASB)

“Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters,
when you encounter various trials, 
knowing that the testing of your faith
produces endurance…”
James 1:2-3 (NASB)

The world offers many ways to be joyful. Some of the alternatives include liquor, wild parties, drugs, etc. It does not take a rocket scientist to distinguish between the joy of the world and that of biblical Christianity. Christians are joyful regardless of circumstances.

It is founded on the promises of God. It springs from knowing God. It results from fellowship with believers. It comes through answered prayer. It is attained by reading and meditating on Scripture. When we observe the ordinances our hearts overflow with joy.

Listening to the Word preached brings heaven near and joy fills our souls. Even trials can bring joy because trials shape us more and more into the image of Christ.

Most of the above activities are obvious sources for joy and need our constant attention. It is the last one that is a paradox. Psalm 119:71 reads as follows,

“It is good for me that I was afflicted,
So that I may learn Your statutes.”

Trials drive the mature believer to Scripture. There we learn wisdom, find comfort, see precious promises, and obtain grace to help us endure.

Today consider what it is that brings you joy. Is it money in the bank, your health, a happy marriage, a beautiful home? These things indeed are a source of joy and should be. However, what is your source of joy when one or another of these go away? Then our faith is vigorously tested and either grows stronger or proves a false and worthless thing.

Today may you have true and lasting joy in the Lord regardless of what life brings your way. May knowing God, answered prayer, the fellowship of other Christians, reading Scripture, the promises of the Bible, observing the ordinances, listening to sermons, even trials all bring you everlasting joy and cause all your sorrow and sighing to flee away.

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