That Inward Something

If you were asked to define joy, how would you define it? Do we, those who know the Lord, really understand what the Bible means by “joy?” It seems quite common to think of joy as how we “feel” when things are going right for us and when good things happen to us. Isn’t joy the absence of problems, trials, sorrows and worries? I suggest that it is much stronger than anything that we find hard to bear. We can have God’s joy constantly, even in the midst of adversity. Persecution, pain, problems and even death need not steal our joy. It is that inward “something,” that outward trials cannot steal. It’s more than “something!” It is an inward assurance that God is in control, that He loves us, that He has a purpose, even in suffering, and that He can help us through the storms of life. After being beaten by religious authorities, the disciples in Acts 5:41, “….departed from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His Name.” James, in James 1:2-4, admonished those that fled persecution because of their faith: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (various trials or tests); knowing this, that the trying (testing) of your faith worketh patience, but let patience have her perfect (maturing) work , that ye may be perfect and entire (mature and fully trusting), wanting (lacking) nothing.” We are reminded in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus, “….for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross.” Paul, who suffered intensely, had this inward joy. His testimony? “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18). In the hymn, “Living by Faith,” James Wells speaks of the joy that comes to those who trust, even in trials: “Tho’ tempests may  blow and storm clouds arise, obscuring the brightness of life, I’m never alarmed at the o’ercast skies; the Master looks on at the strife. I know that He safely will carry me thro’, no matter what evils betide. Why should I then care, tho’ the tempest may blow, if Jesus walks close to my side? Living by faith in Jesus above; trusting, confiding in His great love; safe from all harm in His sheltering arm, I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.” Selah! The “bottom line” is that joy, even while suffering, can flood our hearts and can be sustained until “the books are balanced!” And, when that time comes, there will be a huge surplus of everlasting joy!    Ron

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2 thoughts on “That Inward Something

  1. one of my favorite words:
    RE- joice
    as in do it again, even tho’ you’ve been knocked down
    get back up in JOY
    that little prefix —– RE-

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