Count It All Joy

Genesis 45:1-2 So he was alone with his brothers when he told them who he was. Then he broke down and wept. He wept so loudly the Egyptians could hear him, and word of it quickly carried to Pharaoh's palace.

Can you imagine how Joseph must have been feeling? So much joy that he was overwhelmed with emotion. God had been growing the fruits of the spirit in him, and now we see his Joy. Moments of joy like this are rare. The intensity of our joy doesn't usually bring tears - although we can experience this too. Let's look at what God tell us in His Word about Joy.

Consider this: true joy is rooted in the history of God fulfilling promises to His people and the confidence we have that God will continue as He has always done. For example, Israel's deliverance from Egypt and from Pharaoh (Exod 18:9-11). Israel's return from the Babylonian exile to Jerusalem (Jer 31:1-19), (Psalm 137:6May my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth if I fail to remember you, if I don't make Jerusalem my greatest joy). The joy of the harvest is used to describe the believer's final victory over his adversaries (Psalm126:5-6) Old Testament imagery for joy is carried over into the New. Jesus describes John the Baptist's reaction to his coming as the joy of the friend of the bridegroom (John 3:29-30). Shepherds hear the good news that will bring great joy to all people (Luke 2:10). The Magi, upon finding the infant Jesus, are "filled with joy!" (Matt 2:10).

I am challenged by James 1:2 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. I don't like experiencing "troubles", therefore I rarely experience joyful feelings during these times. However, 1 Peter 1:6 is helpful here. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.

We mustn't be fooled by our current feelings or situation. Joy is not necessarily a feeling alone. Instead may I suggest it is confidence that God will continue to do as He as always done. He has been with you throughout your life, in all the ups and in all the downs. He will never leave you or forsake you. We don't have to be feeling joyful all the time, however, we can have deep rooted joy in the confidence that Jesus is working for us at all times.

Luke 10:19-20 "Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don't rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven."



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