JOY OF THE LORD
Joy is a very remarkable attribute. It can be present in all manner of circumstances. But such is the case only if that joy is of the Lord. “Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.” (1 Chronicles 29:9 AV) In the flesh, parting with one’s possessions does not normally bring joy, unless it is for some special gift to a special person, such as for a child on their birthday. The situation quoted refers to King David’s free will offering of his treasures of gold and silver for the building materials of the temple which Solomon would one day build. Also, the offering of the princes of the tribes, and the people was made. The joy expressed was based on the hope for the future Temple of God in a shared excitement. In this kind of joy there is determination, there is faith and unity of purpose throughout the fellowship. That purpose was to honor God, the highest of any purpose in life.
There is joy about the house while Mom is preparing a meal. The children ask what there will be, Dad says he can’t wait, he’s hungry. The sounds and odors cause added excitement. What is in common here that helps make family togetherness is the sharing one with another in the expected meal. However, after the meal is past there are dishes to wash and dry, and for some reason the joy seems to have left the room, and the sharing attitude has vanished.
We see from these two accounts that joy in sharing is sustained when the joy is in the Lord’s work. “And the children of Israel, which were come again out of captivity, and all such as had separated themselves unto them from the filthiness of the heathen of the land, to seek the LORD God of Israel, did eat, And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy: for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.” (Ezra 6:21-22 AV)
“Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10 AV) Here we see the summation of our joy. As Christians we are told to “go” into the world and preach the Gospel. We are not to be concerned what we will eat or wear. We are to feed the hungry, and keep each day holy unto the Lord, and do not be overcome with sorrow or grief, only rejoice together in the Joy of The Lord, for the joy of the Lord is our strength.
As we share in the things of the Lord in His Church, we are careful for nothing, because we know He has provided for us together for ever. Amen!!
WTL Ministry, 3/8/01