May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Lord has an amazing sense of humor; after all, He invented humor. I have to chuckle about how The Lord worked in my life as a new Christian. I was witnessing to someone on the street one Saturday morning and I said the most random thing, “as a Christian, you could be happy doing anything, even if your job was shoveling manure”. Actually God was speaking to me out of my own mouth. Within a matter of days after this comment I landed a new job. Yep, you guessed it. It was at B & C egg ranch shoveling chicken manure. When I made that bold declaration while witnessing, I had no idea a job like that existed. The Lord was actually speaking to me out of my own mouth. For the. Next year I entered the Lord’s school of joy. Not the kind of joy that comes from our possessions, position, accomplishments or any earthly satisfaction. I was entering the school of the joy of The Lord. The kind of joy that fills and satisfies our hungry hearts in whatever the circumstances may be. God’s joy flows from Him, earthly joy flows from physical things. Here are some powerful comments from Andrew Murray on this reality.
“Shortly after his conversion a man said to me, “I always thought that if I became religious it would become impossible for me to run my business. The two things just seemed too diverse to me. It seemed to me like a man trying to dig a vineyard with a bag of sand upon his shoulders. However, when I found the Lord, I was so filled with joy that I could cheerfully do my work from morning till night. The bag of sand was gone! The joy in the Lord was my strength and power.”
This is an important lesson. Many Christians do not understand that the joy of the Lord equips them for their task. Even subordinates, when filled with the love of God, can testify to this truth.
Today’s text testifies to the joy and peace available to us through the power of the Holy Spirit. For many the thought of the Holy Spirit may mean heartache, regret, disappointment, or disappointment, or something too distant and too “holy.” But this is a foolish thought! This great gift of the Father, which was meant to keep us in the joy and peace of Christ, should never be a source of self-reproach and worry!”
The joy of The Lord is spiritual, it flows from God’s happiness and satisfaction in Himself. This is available to us in Christ. Actually it is the fruit of intimacy with God. So maybe you are in a pit like I was. Maybe, just maybe, you are actually in the Lord’s school of joy.