I tend toward being a sad sack. I constantly quote scripture, sing joyful songs of faith and relive joyous moments of my own life to combat what the ancients call the lower nature.
My life, like most, has had its share of less than joyful moments. And yet, I learn from the Bible that in the midst of horrific life storms, Paul and Silas were able to sing songs of joy while in the inner sanctum of a pagan prison. Hebrews 12:1-2 speaks of Christ’s joy while in the midst of His passion on Calvary.
Pierre Tielhard de Chardin said this about joy: “Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”
I watched a saint of God perform the song, The Joy of the Lord, and keep several thousand people packed into an auditorium in rapt attention as her Mezzo- Soprano voice rang out the praises of the Lord’s joy.
The phrase in Hebrews 12:2, “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,” helps me to grasp that even seeming meaningless pain in this life often has eternal purpose, as did the suffering of Christ on Calvary. The joy of the cross is the knowledge of doing God’s will and grasping the benefits thereof.
Much joy can be wiped away by the frown of others, yet the joy of the Lord cannot be snuffed out by the flames of even the Martyrs Stake.
Copyright © 2013 Larry Lilly