Robert Murray McCheyne said, ‘The purest joy in the world is joy in Christ Jesus.’
In these posts, I want to share some reflections on joy and where, as Christians, we can find our joy.
Continuing in Joy
5th April 2021
I want us to conclude this series of blogs in joy with Paul’s words in Romans 15,
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)
I want us to notice a few things from this verse …
Who fills us with joy?
God fills us with all joy. We’ve said previously that joy isn’t something we can create ourselves, we can’t make ourselves feel joyful. Joy belongs to God – the God of the Bible is the joy-full God and he is the one who pours his joy into our lives.
What is the foundation of our joy?
Belief and hope. Belief in God and in his Son, Jesus, whom he sent to save us through his death on the cross. Belief in Jesus is the very foundation of our joy because to believe in Jesus is to be united to him – to be a branch in the vine – and to share in his joy.
Without faith in Jesus, it is impossible to experience God’s joy. But as we believe in Jesus, God fills us with his joy and his peace. We may remember back to before we were a Christian and we sought joy in many different things. They may have brought us happiness but never lasting joy. Yet now we are Christians, we experience a joy that is like no other because our joy is found in Jesus. Augustine wrote,
How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose!... You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure.
And our belief causes us to hope. It causes us to have hope in the future – to have hope that Christ will bring us through every trial, to have hope in the name of Christ for salvation, to have hope that Christ will return and we will enter into the glory of eternal life.
How does belief and hope give us joy?
These two things work within us to give us the experience of joy. Here are some examples - you may wish to write some of your own:
Our belief that Jesus will hold onto us through trials and our hope in a perfect eternity with him produces joy in us even in the darkest of times.
Our belief in Jesus as the one who mediates for us and our hope that our Father hears and answers our prayers gives us joy in the place of prayer.
Our belief that Jesus is greater and more precious than anything in this world and our hope of spending all eternity with our greatest treasure gives us joy in his presence.
Our belief that Jesus’ death is sufficient to save us and all who repent and believe, and our hope that God’s plan of salvation will never be thwarted gives us joy as we share the gospel.
Our belief that Jesus’ has redeemed his church with his own blood and our hope that he will one day present us all blameless before God the Father gives us joy in the church.
When we abound in belief and hope in Jesus, joy will be the natural experience of our lives.
May Christ be our joy
Jesus is our greatest treasure. There is nothing and no-one in this world that compares to him.
He is our God.
He is our creator.
He is our reconciler.
He is our mediator.
He is our saviour.
May Jesus be our joy.
What think we of Christ? Is He altogether glorious in our eyes, and precious to our hearts? May Christ be our joy, our confidence, our all. May we daily be made more like Him, and more devoted to His service.