Unlimited: Grace Brings Us Joy
Feb 7, 2022 337
The joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10, KJV).
Christ told many stories about parties. He told only one, a mini-parable, about a funeral (Matthew 11:17). Similarly, the Old Testament ordered many feasts, but only one fast. That was the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16:29–31).
Because “the joy of the Lord” is our strength, anyone who understands grace can only be joyous and strong. The word “joy” is prominent in the narratives of early Christianity (Luke 1:44,47; 2:10; 24:52; Acts 8:8).
When we remember the last hours of Jesus, we do not find him speaking in funereal tones about negative matters. We find him constantly reassuring his disciples that soon they would have his joy and peace (John 14:27; 15:11; 16:33).
Anyone who understands grace can only be joyous and strong.
Christ is no thoughtless optimist. He knows full well that there will be strife and pain for his followers. But remember how balanced and comforting his words are. “In this world you will have trouble.” But “in me you may have peace'” (John 16:33).
Similarly, Jesus promises us a hundredfold good things, but adds “and with them persecutions” (Mark 10:29–30). He was – and is – a realist. He and his disciples could sing a hymn even as he set out on his way to the Cross (Matthew 26:30).
Nestling in Jesus’ realism is joy. Because of grace. – Des Ford (adapted)
Reflection: I’ve heard it said that the difference between “enjoyment” and “joy” is that “enjoyment” comes and goes, depending on what you are doing at the time, but “joy” remains, irrespective of your circumstances. Is the joy that grace brings evident in your life?