A government official going home after a long trip is not usually how stories of great joy begin. But it’s how a happy story in Acts 8 does.
An Ethiopian official was traveling home reading the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. He read, “He was led as a sheep to slaughter; and as a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he does not open his mouth…His life is removed from the earth.” (Isa. 53:7,8). Like so many prophecies in Isaiah, it’s confusing and the official didn’t know who it was talking about.
He asked an evangelist named Philip whom God had sent to meet him, “How can I, understand unless someone guides me?”
Philip told him the prophecy was about Jesus. So, “Beginning from this Scripture he preached Jesus to him.” (Acts 8:35) Learning that Jesus was the lamb of God who was slain, but was risen again, the official asked what else he need to do before being baptized. The preacher told him he could if he believed. So,“He ordered the chariot to stop; and they both went down into the water, Philip as well as the eunuch; and he baptized him. And then they came up out of the water, …he went on his way rejoicing” (vss. 38,39).
Here is the joy of the baptized believer, united with Christ and forgiven of sin. No wonder he went home rejoicing.
Joy in Jesus is still found by learning about Him in the scripture, believing in Him and being baptized. Happiness in Christ is a blessing made new in every believer who heeds the gospel call.