Does Joy Characterize Your Life?

In 2 Corinthians 13.11, Paul urged his brothers and sisters to rejoice. During the first century this word, chairo, was used as a greeting among Christians. One writer says this custom began with Jesus and His resurrection. Upon exiting the grave, this was the first word Jesus said to His disciples, Matthew 28.9. The word was also used when people parted ways.

Rejoice when you meet. Rejoice when you say goodbye. It’s a simple implication. They rejoiced because Christ is alive!

A quick summary of several passages in the New Testament reveals that the Christian life is to be characterized by joy. It should be abundant and overflowing. The joy of the first Christians was animated and incessant. This fruit of the Spirit should be growing in your life, Galatians 5.22.
  • Philippians 4.4: Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
  • 1 Thessalonians 5.16: Rejoice always,
  • 1 Peter 4.13: But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when His glory is revealed.

Jesus intends for His disciples to have joy. On the darkest night in the deepest of sorrow, He promised He would bring joy. Your hearts will rejoice and no one will take your joy from you, John 16.22. Joy is the legacy of Christ.

Pause for a moment and think of all the things you have to rejoice about. It’s amazing isn’t it?
  • You have been forgiven of sin, Romans 8.1; Colossians 2.11-14.
  • Your past has been dealt with, Psalm 103.12; 1 Timothy 1.12-15.
  • Your present is under the control of the Holy Spirit, Romans 8.14. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God! Let your good Spirit lead me on level ground, Psalm 143.10.
  • Your future is secure by the promise of God, 2 Peter 1.3-4.

Since all these things are true, rejoice! There is no problem in your life that can overpower the purposes of God on your behalf. While your present circumstances may be less than desirable, you can learn to trust God with deep and abiding confidence. Poor circumstances are just temporary. In time, everything in your life will be brought to good. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose, Romans 8.28.
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Matthew Allen

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