So the clocks have gone forward, and winter is giving way to spring, dark days changing to
Lighter days. This is most apt for Lent and for Easter Winter and Lent is a time of Darkness and a journey towards that Dark Friday, and then through Jesus’s triumph on the cross, to everlasting light on Easter day, with Dark death defeated forever, and the promise of life and light living in us now and for eternity, because “Joy to the World, the Lord is come!”
The thrill of hope within the message spools out to touch a weary world with anticipation of tasting some lasting good! Romans 14:17 says that the kingdom of God is "righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit." That should tell us just how valuable joy is to the believer.
Jesus spoke about joy a lot. It was the Saviour’s desire that His disciples would be filled with joy. (John 16:22, 17:13) And, in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 ), Paul just writes, "Be joyful always."
Our joy and our praise were never intended to be kept hidden behind closed doors! Jesus is full of joy and if you are full of Jesus then you have all the joy you need. You always have a reason to rejoice. Jesus was able to look beyond the horrors of the cross because of the joy set before Him. We can rejoice that He paid the price for us. If we never had anything else to rejoice about, that would be plenty, but we have so much more to rejoice over.
This love becomes overwhelming and overflows into the lives of those around us because it is produced by a reciprocal relationship with the Living God.
We ought to expect trouble. Jesus said, "In the world you [will] have tribulation" (John 16:33). God has His own profound purpose in our afflictions, but it's never to take away our joy. When we yield to the working of His Spirit in our lives, our difficulties will not overwhelm us.
Joy comes from knowing we are never alone. Prayer is the ongoing conversation we have, Spirit to Spirit, with God. Giving thanks is the great reminder that we have been blessed no matter what the circumstances may suggest. Joy is not about our circumstances. We rejoice in spite of everything. Joy is about being with God. Forever!