Day 85 – Thankful for joy!

Yesterday I used these verses from Isaiah 61 to speak of God’s favor and delight for us.  But there is more to the story!

“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;”

Verse 3:  “to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3 ESV

In verse 3 we read about a beautiful headdress, oil of gladness, and a garment of praise.  Our pastor said that these would have been used by a bride.

If you read yesterday’s post, you’ll likely remember that “Jesus was claiming to be this One sent by God the Father to proclaim God’s delight in the people He has created and His pleasure in them, to the point of being willing to satisfy their sin debt and to forgive their sin.

Those who have received God’s wonderful gift of forgiveness have every reason to be filled with great joy!  We have become a part of His bride, and Jesus is our Bridegroom who loves us perfectly!

When we put our trust in Him, He takes away our mourning for our sin.  His Holy Spirit moves into our freshly cleansed heart and brings with Him HIS joy!  Since He will never leave us or forsake us, His joy is ALWAYS available for us!!  Isn’t that an amazing gift?!

So, no matter what kind of difficulty a believer may be going through, no matter how fiery the trial, God’s joy is within us because He is in us! We don’t have to work up our own joy, giving up because it seems impossible.  We just have to look to Him, draw near to Him through His word, and receive from Him this gift!

Check out these words of Jesus to His disciples:

If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.  John 15:10,11  NASB

As His disciples, all we need to do is walk in obedience to Him to abide in Him and be filled with His joy!

But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
    let them ever sing for joy,
and spread your protection over them,
    that those who love your name may exult in you.
For you bless the righteous, O Lord;
    you cover him with favor as with a shield.” Psalm 5:11,12 ESV 

Today, I am thankful that Jesus took the vengeance for my sin so I could be forgiven.  I’m thankful that His Holy Spirit dwells in me and gives me fullness of JOY!  🙂 

What about you?  When is the last time you felt the Joy of the Lord in your heart?  Do you wonder why you haven’t been “feeling” the joy lately?  Have you been spending time in God’s word and obeying what He tells you to do?  Or have other things distracted you (as they do me more often than I’d like to admit)?  Would you join me in drawing closer to Him in this new year?  What better time than now?

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