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Joy
Posted By Nan

2 John

The message of this book of John is very clear.

Walk in love. Conduct your life in love. 

It is that simple. When you do this you are following God’s commands to love the Lord your God and to love others (Matthew 22:37).

When you do this, you are walking in the light with Jesus.

Again John spoke of his great Joy at seeing the love and faithfulness of the recipients of this letter.

But there is another joy John speaks about. That is the Joy of fellowship with fellow believers.

It is not always easy to fellowship with others, especially in this time of lockdowns. But there are opportunities. Never miss the chance to be with fellow believers. You don’t have to worship together, you just have to stand in the light and commune with each other. It is very hard to keep Jesus out of conversations when you are fellow believers. 

Never forget the command to love each other. 

Always delight in the faith of others.

There you will find Joy.

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

1 John 1

As we progress through the New Testament the references to Joy are often about how the disciples feel great joy at sharing the Good News of Jesus to others and seeing those people experience the joy of salvation.

What John talks about in this chapter is the communion he experiences with God, the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

This communion is the source of his joy.

John, like Paul as mentioned in previous blogs, wants those to whom he is writing to know that joy as well. Knowing they experience the joy doubles his joy!

It is a beautiful selfless thing to do. 

What is so beautiful about this is this selflessness is a product of following Jesus. It is not enough to follow Jesus. When we truly follow Him our joy is for others experiencing this communion with God and Jesus.

When we follow Jesus, we walk in the light. We are not those stumbling in darkness of Isaiah 9:2. We are the ones who have seen a great light and follow it.

There is the source of the purest joy possible. The joy of being in the light and seeing others come into the light too.

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

1 Peter 

This chapter of Peter couldn’t be more explicit. We who live and have lived on earth since Jesus rose to heaven are believing by faith.

We have never seen Jesus, yet we love Him.

We have never seen Jesus, yet we believe in Him.

We have never seen Jesus, yet we are filled with inexpressible and glorious Joy.

That Joy comes from His majesty. His greatness.

Think back on your time since accepting Jesus as your saviour and remember the times when you have had that deep awareness of Jesus and have felt that inexpressible Joy in His presence.

If you have never felt that, then ask God to reveal Jesus to you in that way.

That inexpressible and glorious Joy is a great gift of God. It is the Joy of being in the presence of your Saviour. It is the Joy that comes from feeling that overwhelming love and acceptance of God. It is the gift of assurance and the gift of salvation. It is pure love.

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

James 4

This chapter of James is a reverse of Joy. James is chastising the people for their pursuit of their own pleasure. He accuses them of forgetting God and going after the things they want. They don’t hesitate to fight each other in pursuit of their own way. They don’t ask God what they should do. They don’t consider God at all.

James is calling them to repent. He wants them to feel no joy, but instead to come down to rock bottom.  To dwell in misery where the only way is up. He wants them to find themselves in that place so that they can repent of their self seeking, God ignoring behaviours, and return to being followers of Jesus.

The message of this chapter of James is that when we move away from God we need to come to complete repentance and come back to God. Joy is not something to seek when we are seeking repentance. If God needs to bring us to a place of darkness to lead us to repent then there is no joy in that.

Joy is for when we are seeking God and seeking to do His will.

Only then will we experience true Joy.

 
Joy
Posted By Nan

James 1

Here we are in James. In this first chapter there is the well known verse to “consider it pure Joy whenever we face trials of any kind”. (v2)

There is so much contained in these verses of chapter 1, but the aspect of these blogs at the moment is to focus on the meaning of Joy. 

This meaning is quite startling. We associate Joy with great feelings and nice things happening. But here we are being told we are to consider it a source of Joy when we are facing hardship and persecution.

The Joy here is because the hardship and persecution produces perseverance in us. We go through trials and emerge at the other end. We know we have emerged because God was with us. We have the proof and example of how God never leaves us, but is always with us. Now we have experienced that personally, not just read about it. We have also learned that what we thought we would be too weak to face, we have faced, and survived. We have grown in confidence, not only in God, but also in us. We have the confidence that our faith is strong enough to endure difficult times. We have the confidence that no matter how it seemed at the time, God was with us.

So consider it pure Joy that God tests us, grows us, empowers us and loves us.

 


 
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Nan
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