Saturday, April 29, 2017

Fullness of Joy

UV 2265/10000 Fullness of Joy
Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Philipppians 4 v 4

Reiteration in scripture is used for emphasis as well as to convey different meanings in different contexts or situations of real life. Our belief in Jesus, our faith and hope in Him, our knowledge of His love should cause us to rejoice when things are going according to plan, when things are going good for us as well as when things are not as desired or as per plan, when things are not going good or are really going bad for us. We are to be armed and shielded by an “all weather” sword and shield of faith, all time security and not just part time. The emphasis on joy is due to the reason that we can wholeheartedly love and worship the Lord only with a joyful heart. Our bodies or minds might be in pain or undergoing suffering but our hearts can rejoice in the hope that we have in Jesus, that we will triumph in the end, no matter how things are turning out now for us.

Joy is like a bubbling, frothing brook flowing from our hearts. It is evident in our faces and in our attitudes. It manifests in our words, actions and reactions. It is not a joy or happiness based on happenings. Often it can be joy despite the happenings. It is not a trumped up or artificial joy propped up by stimuli to our senses. It is a deep, eternal, complete joy. It never dries up. Spiritual joy is inexplicable but expressible. Joy lightens our yoke and widens our wings of faith to its fullest span. Imagine a person with a very heavy unbearable load on his shoulders but suddenly, the burden is shifted from his shoulders, his sense of relief. Imagine a person facing death by hanging at the gallows and suddenly, he receives news of his pardon. He is freed to live a new life.

The Lord desires that in all circumstances, our joy should be full and not partial or shallow. It is an overflowing joy. It is not an emotion but a conviction that Jesus owns us. The sense of ownership and belonging as sheep to a good Shepherd fills us with joy. We are created for the pleasure of God. We are created to be participants and partakers of that pleasure and not mere objects. Though many things in life give us a sense of pleasure or joy, it is only immersing ourselves in the Lord that gives us true joy. When we are saturated in His presence and satiated by His word, we are truly joyful. Remembering and acknowledging the Lord with praise and thanksgiving in all our ways and at all times fills us with such joy. The joy that the world gives is a counterfeit joy. It deceives to flatter us. It deserts us in our times of need. It evaporates at the smallest provocation or symptom of pain or suffering.

Prateep V Philip

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