Ian Cole from the World Prayer Centre shares about the joy of the Lord and how it is our answer in troubled times.
With all that is going on in our lives, our communities, our nation and the nations it may seem a strange time to be writing about Joy. With daily reports of wars, famines, plagues, environmental disasters, the list goes on, it may seem cruel to talk about joy. But let the reader understand we are not talking about being happy, being cheerful, being delighted; these are wonderful gifts to enjoy at moments in our day to day lives. But we all know that in our individual, family and community lives, we go through days that are far from happy, cheerful or being delighted in anything.
Looking around our world today there are millions and millions of folk, young, old, rich and poor, rich nations, poor nations, of every creed and colour for whom happiness is either a distant memory, or something they rarely experience.
However, many other millions in our world today who are enduring wars, famines, persecution and the strains and stresses of everyday life, are at the same time experiencing a deep rooted, Holy Spirit inspired Joy.
So what is this Joy? Although it is difficult, let us try and put it into words.
For the person who believes in God the Father, Christ Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit and follows Jesus; Joy comes from the Holy Spirit. Joy comes from knowing Jesus and the life He gives. Joy is knowing with assurance that God is in control of each detail of our lives. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus was full of Joy. He said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My Joy may be in you and that your Joy may be full.” (John 15: 11). Joy is a deep-rooted, Holy Spirit inspired happiness. The Joy of the Lord is our strength.
Rejoicing is the outward act of inner joy. Luke 10: 17 tells us that the disciples, having been sent out by Jesus, returned with Joy because even the demons submitted to them. But Jesus says to them, “Don’t rejoice that demons submit to you, rejoice (be full of Joy) that your names are written in heaven.”
Wow. A deep rooted, God given, Holy Spirit inspired Joy that my name is written in heaven.
When The Apostle Peter wrote to the early churches about being born into a living hope and an inheritance that can never fade or perish, he went on to say, “Though you have not seen Him (Jesus), you love Him and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious Joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith.” (1 Peter 1: 8)
The Apostle Paul wrote, “The kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and Joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17. In the next chapter, he prays, “That the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.” (Romans 15: 13) The joy that Jesus gives is an eternal truth experienced today.
We pray that wherever you are, whatever you are experiencing, in your life, your family, your city, or your nation, know that the God of Hope will fill you -yes you, with a deep-rooted, Holy Spirit inspired Joy and peace as you trust Him.
We pray that today, you will rejoice, be full of Joy that your name is written in heaven.
If you would like to find out more about the God of hope, visit our page I want to know Jesus.
Ian Cole is the founder of the World Prayer Centre, Birmingham.