Tag Archives: joy

Seeing salvation

Luke 2:30-31 for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples

What must it have been like to wait for years and years with the promise of a Messiah to come, never knowing quite when He would arrive?  Oh the faith of Simeon, to keep believing even into old age that God would keep His promise.  Simeon is a good example of faith rewarded.  He waited and he waited for the Promised One and then a day came when God allowed him to see Him with his own eyes.  What a day that must have been for Simeon.

We know that he rejoiced and gave praise to God over the joyous occasion, but he also revealed that at this moment his life was complete.  He had been promised that he would not see death until the Lord’s Christ had been born and there He was in front of Simeon, being presented at the temple.  Simeon could die in peace.  Are you so content with encountering Christ that you’d say you can die in peace right now because you’ve seen Him?

It’s a great occasion any time we get a taste of the Lord’s goodness.  His salvation is a free gift that we can never earn and it comes only from Jesus Christ, and to experience this is something to sing about, to make a fuss over.  But do we look at this as enough?  Is your life complete now that you’ve seen the Lord’s salvation?  For Simeon it was enough.  There was nothing more that the world had to offer him that could even come close to meeting Jesus face to face.  Somehow for us there is still a lot competing for our affections in this world, but the reality is that Jesus is enough and we should be content with Him.  He’s all that we need.

The fruit of the Spirit – Joy

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the spirit is…joy

What’s the first thing that the nonbeliever can see about a professed believer? It could be argued that one’s emotional state is the first impression that an observer can pick up. If we, as Christ followers, have no joy we don’t send a very appealing message to those watching. If we are to convince the unsaved that we have something that they should want, we should act like it.

This is not to say that we should, at all times, have an ear-to-ear grin on our faces. Times will come in our lives that are nothing to smile about. But if we have the joy of Christ inside us, the way we handle the bad times will be different than the way someone who doesn’t have Christ would handle them. We can show that we have an overall joy in our lives even as we go through down times in our lives. It’s in these times that we will be watched the most.

It can be quite easy to put on a happy face and act like life is perfect even though we know it isn’t, but real joy isn’t about putting on a facade to fool everyone. The Lord’s instructions are not to fool anyone. It is about living out the joy that is within us. Look to Christ as an example.

A few scriptures that offer some help in this area are Matthew 6:27, John 15:11, John 10:10, Romans 8:35, 2 Corinthians 4:9, Psalm 5:11, Psalm 28:7. There are many more that would also offer guidance.

The joy of pain

James 1:2-4  Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

 Sometimes the best thing that can happen to you is a tragedy.  Sometimes the thing that puts you on the path you need to be on is pain and suffering.  No one wants to face those things, but in reality they point us to God.

When things are going perfectly, we often have a tendency to overlook God’s role in the blessings we’re enjoying.  Maybe every now and then we give thanks, but when it’s smooth sailing there is little time really spent calling out to God.

But when the going gets tough, it’s time to hit our knees.  We cry out to God and beg Him to get us through this painful circumstance.  We talk to Him more, trust in Him more, exercise greater faith, and grow more spiritually than we ever do during the good times.

It’s often said that if there’s no pain there’s no gain, but we seem to think this doesn’t apply to spiritual matters.  The truth is, pain produces growth spiritually, and it perfects us a little bit at a time as we grow closer to God in the midst of our trials.  So next time you’re going through a rough patch, give thanks to God for the opportunity to become more like His Son.  Rely on Him to get you through to the end.