Far too often this is a world of unholiness, conflicts, and sorrow. But in this vale of tears, bitterness and despair do not have to be our only lot. In Christ, we can come to a wonderful kingdom that is not “eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:7).
This is not the short-lived worldly joy of fortunate circumstance, the fleeting pleasures of controlling possessions or triumphing over others. Rather here we find the deeper satisfaction for the soul, and we find a place of love and seeking the best for others and “offering prayer with joy…for all” (Phil. 1:4).
It is a joy “made full” (Jn. 16:24) in Christ and “made complete” (1 Jn. 1:4) in the words and hope of the gospel.
It is the sublime “joy and peace of believing” that causes us to “abound in hope” (Rom. 15:13). It is the “joy of salvation” (Ps. 51:12) when we turn from sin and back to God.
It is the “joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 1:6) that we have in spite of every difficulty, even an “overflowing of joy in all our affliction.” (2 Cor. 7:4)
It is the fruit of the Spirit that is accompanied by “love, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22,23).
Our joy here, great and enduring as it is—as Jesus promised “your heart will rejoice, and no one takes your joy away from you” (Jn. 16:22)—is only a foretaste of what is to come when we are called forward to “enter into the joy of our master,” (Matt. 25:23) when we can, as Jude (vs. 24) promised, “stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.”