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Posted By Nan

Hebrews 12:1-3

This section of Hebrews 12 is not only a victorious declaration of Jesus’ salvation but also instructions for us to move forward to the Joy he experienced sitting at the right hand of God.

Jesus knew what was to come and he persevered all the trials of his human body to experience the Joy of what was to come. That Joy is rooted in the salvation He won for us and in the pleasure He brought to God in our salvation.

We are called her to persevere on the narrow path to Jesus. To not give up. To keep our eyes on Jesus. Because He has gone before us and is waiting for us. 

How did He do it? We need to study the gospels to understand how He did it.

He was faithful to God. He spent time in prayer. He sought God out at often as possible. He didn’t jump in to make decisions without first asking God. He even sought God’s counsel when he was asked Questions. He was obedient to the call to payer and He drew great comfort from that. 

Our advice here is to remember that when our faith is being challenged and we feel tempted to give up, to go back to the gospels and study Jesus’ example. Note all the persecution, the torture, the shame, the cross, disbelief. He put up with so much because He kept His eyes on God and God’s will.

When the hostility of this world, the petty nastiness, the aggression, the undeserved attacks, get you down, remember Jesus. He has been there before you and He understands what you are going through.

Jesus loves you. He cares for you. And he has a gift of Joy for you. On this earth you will catch glimpses of this joy. Then in heaven you will experience the full extent of that Joy.

How comforting in these difficult times to know that.

Posted By Nan

Hebrews 1

The ultimate Joy. After sending His prophets over the course of the millennia, God has sent His ultimate messenger. His Son. Jesus is heir of all things and the universe was made through Him. Jesus is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being. His powerful word sustains all things. His greatest gift to us has been to provide the means of purification of our sins. Now he sits down at the right hand of God in heaven. 

Jesus is so great the angels bow down and worship Him.

Not only is He the source of our Joy, but He also is anointed with Joy.

That anointing fills Him eternally with Joy and gives Him the ability to pour Joy out on us.

Therefore Jesus is the source of our salvation and also of our Joy.

Praise Jesus our saviour for all He is and does.

Posted By Nan

1 Thessalonians 3

Paul is in Athens and is suffering great persecution.

Reading verse one it would seem that he and Silas can stand the persecution no longer. In fact, it is the harm the persecution may be causing to the believers in Thessalonica that is troubling them. 

Paul is concerned about the strength of their faith and longs to see them. But he is concerned that if he goes to Thessalonica the persecution he is suffering will follow and cause greater suffering for the Thessalonians.

So Timothy goes instead. 

When he returns he brings the wonderful news that the Thessalonian believers are standing firm in their faith. 

This brings such joy to Paul. He has prayed so earnestly for them and now he sees the evidence of God’s provision and answer to his prayers.

The importance of community and fellowship cannot be underestimated. We need to show our love and concern for other Christians. 

Just as we need others to pray for us, we need to pray for them. We need to support each other in our faith. We need to pray for each other. And we need to open ourselves to the joy of caring for each other.

Posted By Nan

1 Thessalonians 2

Paul continues writing his letter to the Thessalonians.

In the last blog I spoke of the great Joy the Thessalonians experienced as they heard the word of God, despite the opposition they faced in accepting the word.

Paul reminds them in this chapter that they recognised the word He, Silas and Timothy had spoken as coming from God. They did not see this as the words of men, but the word of God.

Their Joy came from embracing the word of God and ignoring all the other clamour of the world, including persecution, to hear and accept the word.

Paul had such a heart for the people he was blessed to bring to faith in God. His joy in their faith was overflowing. In this chapter He reiterates this. For him, a time of facing God will be full of the joy of the people he has been blessed to bring to faith in God.

Not all of us are called to bring other people to faith, but knowing people who are brought to faith is a great source of Joy. It is certainly a Joy that must not be overlooked.

Posted By Nan

1 Thessalonians 1

This short chapter of Thessalonians is beautiful in its simplicity and message.

Paul, along with Silas and Timothy, writes to the believers in Thessalonica. 

He remembers the joy they experienced in hearing the good news of Jesus Christ. He notes this joy was felt despite the great suffering that accompanied the hearing of the news. 

In fact, Paul believes the people have been set aside for something special. To equip them for this, as well as for the suffering they are to experience, Paul notes God gave them such an outpouring of strength from the Holy Spirit that they are able to express great joy in their faith despite the suffering they are experiencing.

This chapter is a good reminder of the way God equips us during difficult times. It is a reminder of the way He gives us Joy, even when things are not looking hopeful.

Joy is not just for the good times, it comes when things are hard too. 

Joy is a gift of God that He sends. We do not know why sometimes we experience Joy in hard times and in other hard times we can worship and praise and still not experience Joy. But we always receive Joy at the time we are meant to.



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