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Posts Tagged ‘the joy of christ’

 

Lake & Mountain (4)“I don’t know what it means to have joy,” she said. “I’ve read all of the books, studied scripture, and prayed, but I don’t feel as though I have the joy we’re promised. I smile. I try to act cheerful, but it all feels like a lie.”

Does your heart break over the pain in these words? Are you, too, struggling to live a joy-filled life in a world saturated by painted on selfie-smiles and Pinterest-perfect photos?

After we talked, I stared blankly out the window. Did I know what it meant to live a life full of joy? Was I embracing the fullness of joy as God intended?

Jesus: Man of Sorrows, Man of Joy

Days later, I began studying the life of Christ-the “Man of sorrows…acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3 NKJ). Surely, the One who painted the sky at dawn and whispered creation into wakefulness must also have known joy.

Christ tasted the breadth and depth of feelings like no other before or since. Click To Tweet

Some may imagine Him as solemn or angry. As fully God and fully man, Christ tasted the breadth and depth of feelings like no other before or since. His capacity to experience life-and death-was both enriched and made even more horrible by perfection of spirit.

The pious held Christ’s joy as one of his most offensive characteristics. John 7: 34 (NIV) reads, “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” At the same time, they accused his cousin John of being “a demon” because his life was stripped of celebration (John 7:33 NIV).

Who was Christ that he should be joyful?

He was from a no-count town and was neither appealing nor promising by human standards. He spoke about loving the unlovable and forgiving the unforgivable.  He associated with women-the worst of them. And His companions weren’t well-bred, educated men. They were fishermen and tax collectors-either under-appreciated workmen or greedy traitors.

Still, Christ knew joy like no other. Consider these verses.

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)

Jesus comforted his disciples with the promise of joy even though he'd already predicted his own death. Click To Tweet

The Greek word for joy is chara, which means calm delight. Fewer than twenty-four hours before his crucifixion, Jesus comforted his disciples with the promise of joy even though he’d already predicted his own death.

How could Jesus live with “calm delight” while death lurked nearby?

I believe it’s because He knew the end of the story.

Hebrews 12: 2 says, “…For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Instead of sorrow? Salvation.

Instead of ruin? Redemption.

Instead of tears? Triumph.

Instead of rejection? Rejoicing.

When Christ ascended to the throne, he embraced the glory from which he'd been absent. Click To Tweet

When Christ ascended to the throne, he embraced the glory from which he’d been absent and the Father from whose presence he’d been torn. Not only that, Friend. If you are Christ’s, then you were hand-delivered into heaven’s throne-room that day; your name is stamped in his palms.

There may be times we don’t feel happiness bubbling from us like a mountain brook that splashes its way down the mountain. I’d rather have the chara of Christ; the calm delight and peace of knowing “there is joy set before me”.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

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