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Joy unspeakablePosted Tuesday, February 5, 2013, at 11:12 AM
A word used throughout the bible is the little word "joy." Look in any concordance and it will have so many verses with the word joy. Today I will explore some of them and give you some of the reasons we are to have joy if we are a child of God.
In I Peter I:3ff we read, "you have come to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you. Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried by fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though ye now see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
In Verse 8 he speaks of his hearers that they rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.
You have probably already noted these people were having a difficult time. They were being persecuted for their faith. They were enduring heaviness through manifold temptations. In Verse 6 Paul noted that in spite of these difficulties they were rejoicing. Christians like any other people have problems in life. Because they knew how they stood with the Lord there is always reason to rejoice. Paul says they are enduring these things just for a season. That means while they live out the faith. Some day all trails will come to an end to God's people. They have something to look forward to and they can, for a while, endure some bad things. They have the hope of a resurrection from the grave when they die. So knowing this we can endure almost anything. God promises all of his children his love and care for them here and now but also a home in heaven where there will be joy and peace for all eternity.
In I Peter 4:12ff he tells his readers, "Beloved think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings, that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are you, for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified." When one is buffeted or evil spoken against because he loves the Lord then rejoice and be glad you can give such a testimony to the world. When one of God's children is evil spoken of that is a sign that he belongs to him. Be glad and rejoice.
One thing that John was thankful for was his good friends who shared the same hope he has. In John's writing from his being exiled on the Island of Patmos, and was being persecuted in this way, he wrote in a letter to some people who were also being persecuted and said to them that their standing strong blessed him and caused him to rejoice. People that he knew who were having a hard time were still finding joy in the Lord and that was an encouragement to him.
Many of us have friends we knew when they came to the Lord or some we may have had a part in helping them come to the Lord. When we run into them years later and they are still serving the Lord and rejoicing it makes us glad and we rejoice, too.
There are many things that make us laugh but everyone needs things that bring joy. Joy is more than mirth or some temporary pleasure. The bible says the joy of the Lord is Joy unspeakable. It is joy that happens regardless of what may come. I can imagine there are readers of this article today that are having some difficult time. You possibly face something you never faced before. The future may seem uncertain, but if we know the Lord and have a solid faith and belief in heaven and eternal life; we know there is a better time coming, when there will be an everlasting joy.
Rest in your hope.
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Rev. William Piercy is pastor of Blackwater Baptist Church near Manila.