Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Rationale for Joy

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4 v 4

Scripture asks us to be joyful at all times. While human psychology teaches us that we like other animals are always in a flight or fight mode, the uni-verse asks us to overflow with joy. We are not told why we should rejoice. Due to our prior conditioning we assume that we rejoice due to happenings. In other words, joy is confused with happiness which is the transient excitement and happiness one feels naturally due to certain positive outcomes or happenings, like one’s country winning a particular game or getting a new job or a promotion and pay raise. The uni-verse asks to rejoice as we are in the Lord. Jesus, the Lord and Giver of life became a Man of Sorrows to take away all our sorrows and give us victory and everlasting joy. As we personally know the Lord Jesus, we rejoice. We rejoice as we have the hope of eternal life and the promise of abundant life in the here and now. JOY stands for Jesus Owns You. We rejoice as our ownership has transferred from the deceiver to our living Redeemer.

We are to rejoice at all times. We are to internally rejoice even when or specially when circumstances seem adverse. We rejoice at these times out of the hope of sharing in the glory of God. A manger leader then is not merely stoic but he is bubbling with joy. When we receive Jesus into our hearts and serve Him as He is now become Lord of our lives, we rejoice. The joy is not an emotional effervescence but a deep spring flowing from our hearts. That spring turns into seven rivers of joy, peace, wisdom, grace, mercy, hope and assurance.

Joy is manifested or demonstrated in our constant attitudes of gratitude towards the Lord, in praise and worship, in contentment and absence of grumbling and bitterness. If we are not joyful, our hearts will be heavy and we cannot freely praise and worship the Lord. Our joy is reflected in positive thoughts, attitudes, words, actions and reactions. Jesus described the enemy of our souks as a thief, robber and killer. He does not steal or rob our physical possessions or kill our bodies. He steals, robs and kills our joy and peace. The uni-verse exhorts us repeatedly not to allow him to steal, rob or kill our peace and joy under any circumstance.

Prateep V Philip

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