The greatest anomaly in the world is an unhappy Christian! Expressions of joy are the language of the renewed soul. Here are some examples:
The Joy of Salvation
“When they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39).
This was one of the earliest missionary triumphs of the Christian church. A high-ranking official from Ethiopia had been to a feast in Jerusalem. He was returning to his home in North Africa when a stranger, Philip, approached his chariot. Philip had been preaching in Samaria, but the Holy Spirit commanded him to leave the evangelistic meetings to share the word of God with this one man.
To most observers, it was a mistake to leave the overwhelming opportunities among the Samaritan people. But while Philip had reached a city in Samaria, through the convert in the desert he influenced a continent. Religion brought the eunuch to Jerusalem, but Christ returned with him to Ethiopia.
It is significant that North Africa became one of the strongholds of the Christian faith during the second century. The eunuch, who only met the preacher once, “went on his way rejoicing,” and returned to his home to evangelize his people.
The Joy of Security
“Rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20).
The disciples were ecstatic! They had just completed their first evangelistic tour, and the results exceeded their expectations. Until now, they followed behind their Master, but this tour was different—they were on their own! Whatever fears filled their souls were dispelled by the success of their mission. Even the evil spirits had been forced to obey their commands.
It is thought-provoking that these ordinary, uneducated fisherman possessed treasure of incalculable worth. The combined wisdom of Solomon, wealth of David, and knowledge of the prophets could not provide the happiness which the disciples possessed. The disciples of Jesus were not always sure where they would sleep at night, and there were occasions when their future appeared bleak. They had left their homes; they no longer had a regular income. Yet God knew them by name; He watched their progress, and had ordered their names to be indelibly inscribed in His book of life. Christ had promised that nothing in time or eternity would pluck them from the Father’s hand (John 10:28-29). That was a cause for continuing thanksgiving.
The Joy of Adoration
“Jesus … stood in the midst … Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord” (John 20:19-20).
Webster’s dictionary defines adoration as “the homage paid to one in high esteem, profound reverence, great love and respect; to love greatly.” It would be very difficult to describe the emotions of the disciples when they saw the risen Lord. Their night of frustration and anguish had been long and bitter; with the death of Jesus, all for which they had hoped and worked seemed to end in failure. Then came the resurrection when the astonished disciples saw with awe and wonder the face of their Lord!
The closed door of the room in which they sat indicated terror had gripped their souls; they feared the possibility of capture and punishment. Yet, when they saw the wound-prints in the Savior’s outstretched hands, their fear vanished. Perhaps they did not yet comprehend what had happened, but the fact that He was standing before them was all they needed. They worshiped Him and joy began to change their outlook. There was no need to anticipate heaven; it had arrived! It was sufficient to see and worship Him. Jesus was the “altogether lovely” one.
When we contemplate the Savior, and our assurance of eternal salvation through Him, what joy should fill our hearts!
—Adapted from Bible Nuggets by Ivor Powell.