17th March 2014

The Joy That Vanished 

He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy.”
Job 8:21 (NIV)
 

What was that sound? I was about to enter the supermarket and was distracted by a humming noise. I looked around to see a woman pushing her trolley into the shop and she was humming a tune. Suddenly I realised that the day was sunny and that life was good. It’s a fact that people generally don’t hum or whistle any more. The chirpy postman, the jovial grocer and the merry milkman of my childhood are all silent today, preoccupied with their tasks. Melodious or otherwise, singing, humming, joking or whistling has been replaced by frowns and vacant stares from heavy hearts. Joy has vanished from the land. God wants the world to know joy, He cares about mankind. Psalm 34:18 tells us that, “The Lord is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

King David knew joy; his psalms brim over with exuberance. Even when in the depths of trials he knew the source of joy: “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes” (Psalm 19:8). From this verse we can deduce that it is an absence of belief and faith in our great God that has created the cheerless society in which we live. The apostle John wrote about complete joy in John 15:11, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”

Christians have this joy as a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22); they can’t help but smile when their lives are built upon the promises of Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul prayed with joy “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy (Philippians 1:4). As Christians our joy is not expressed in worship alone, but in every waking moment of our lives.

Let us have the glorious joy that Peter wrote about in 1 Peter 1:8: “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy.” Joy comes from Jesus, emanating from our heart and reaching out to the world—that very thought is enough to make you smile!

Prayer
Loving Father, you have given us joy through your son Jesus, our Saviour. Grant that we may express your joy to those whom we meet. Holy Spirit, enable us tenaciously to express your beautiful joy in this darkened world.
Amen

Study by Irene Wilson

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irenewilsonAbout the Author:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of the Worldwide Church of God UK, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.

Local Congregation:
Worldwide Church of God Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford, Herts.
WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone:  01923-855570
Email: george-sue.henderson@tesco.net

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