Back the Truck Up, and Get Another Load!
Joy…it’s a traditional part of the Christmas season. In December, people who hardly crack a smile all year send out cards with messages about joy. Carolers chirp out, “Joy to the World!” as grumpy shoppers push their way through crowded malls. Glittering banners, decked with sprigs of holly and silver bells, wave the word “joy” over city streets jammed with irritated drivers who just want to get home.
Tradition aside, the fact is, with the busy schedules, high expectations and financial pressures people face this time of year, it’s easy to let joy slip through your fingers. But don’t do it. Instead, get a revelation of joy that will inspire you to hang on to it not only at Christmastime, but all year ’round.
You see, God is full of joy. Jesus is a man of joy. So if we’re going to follow after Him, we’ll have to be full of joy too.
Joy used to be my weakest area, spiritually. I spent so much time majoring on faith that I didn’t pay much attention to it. But the Lord eventually taught me that you can’t live by faith without joy.
That’s because it takes strength to live by faith. We’re surrounded by a world that is flowing toward death. The natural pull of it is always negative. When you leave things alone and don’t work against that negative flow, they always get worse—not better. If you leave a garden unattended, it dies for lack of water or gets taken over by weeds. If you leave a house unattended, the paint peels off and the boards begin to rot.
To move toward life, you must constantly swim upstream. If you ever get too weak spiritually to do that, you’ll find yourself being swept back toward sickness, lack or some other form of defeat. So you can never afford to run out of strength.
No wonder the Apostle Paul wrote to rejoice in the Lord always! To rejoice means to re-joy, to back the truck up and get another load!
Paul understood the link between joy and strength. That’s why he prayed for the Colossians to be “Strengthened with all might, according to his [God’s] glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness,” (Colossians 1:11). The heart of that sentence says we are strengthened with all might and joyfulness!
Paul reaffirmed that what was true in Nehemiah’s day under the Old Covenant is true today under the New Covenant…the joy of the Lord is our strength! So back your truck up…and get another load!
Speak the Word
I rejoice in the Lord always! (Philippians 4:4)
Heiligschriftstudium: Acts 20:16-24