Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever, Amen (Jude 24).
For the most part it is the arms of the Holy Spirit who keeps us from all harm and stands us back on our feet again. Angels watch over us so we don’t even stub our toes. But in the crisis, it’s the Spirit of God who presents us faultless before God our Father. For God, we are His joy.
He is like any proud papa who cheers on His daughter or son when they take their first attempt to ride a two-wheel bike without training wheels. I look at it this way: God my Father gave me the bicycle. The Holy Spirit taught me how to ride first with training-wheels and then without. Jesus takes off the training wheels, and all three of them jump up and down, shouting their joy as I stream by!
3 That which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full (1 John 1:3, 4).
Like I said, we are God’s joy. And as we all know, He is our joy. We watch God do awesome things: healing my best friend of her lifelong disease, taking away my husband’s addiction to smoking, restoring lost funds from my stupid investments, giving my daughter a new best friend when we moved into a new neighborhood and my sweet daughter knew no one, giving my son the trophy for winning the state-wide contest in wrestling when he hadn’t won a single match all year, just to mention a few.
Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:8).
When all is over and I have ridden a cloud home, my love for God will be so massive it may explode!
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (James 1:2, 3).
Do not think for a moment that God has placed the trials in your life. He is not a father who enjoys seeing his child fail. Notice the word “fall” in that scripture. God doesn’t fall. That’s a human endeavor. It might be said like this: when you fall into trials of your own making, count it all joy. God may not have created the trial, but He is smart enough to use it when it is right in His face. You’ll come out the other side filled with patience, and patience is what you need right now to make things go right.
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).
This verse has always puzzled me. If any of you have watched the movie The Passion, you might share my puzzlement. How could anyone knowingly wait for the tortures awaiting him? The only answer can be that He knew the gift of joy that would be given to Him for His obedience.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (Galatians 5:22).
The gift of joy is brought to each of us by the Holy Spirit.
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13).
That gift of joy will be poured into our bodies and hearts by the Holy Spirit. No more will anyone be charged with the goal of torture. We can have joy on a daily basis. No more do we have to pay for our sins, nor do we have to perform torturous beatings in order to earn our joy. No more will we have to do outlandish things, like crawling on your knees up The Spanish Steps in Rome, in order to obtain our salvation. Jesus paid for it all!
THANKS BE TO GOD!
…For the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10c).
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You (Psalm 5:11).
You will show me the paths of life; in our presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11).
Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart (Psalm 32:11)!
…we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation (Romans 5:11).
These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you; and that your joy may be full (John 15:11).