GET TOGETHER- JOY UNSPEAKABLE AND FULL OF GLORYNe 8:10 Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our LORD. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.” (NKJV) Joh 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (NKJV)
One of my favorite old hymns (millennials don’t stop reading I love the new stuff as well) is Joy Unspeakable. The chorus has these words “It is joy unspeakable and full of glory Oh, the half has never been told.” I also love that old song I’ve Got the Joy, Joy, Joy Down In My Heart as well. Although I must admit that one of the things that challenges me the most about that song is watching people sing it with a frown on their face.
Nehemiah had been given an assignment from God. He was charged with going back to Jerusalem after the Babylonian Exile and restoring the city. It took him only six months to do this although at times he faced discouragement, harassment, and strong opposition while he was at work doing the rebuilding. After he rebuilt the city he would also serve as the Governor of Judah for another thirteen years after that. I am sure those words about the joy of the Lord being our strength were words that he would have to draw on and stand on many times during this assignment.
The Hebrew word for joy here is chedvah, khed-vaw’. Joy is gladness, it is happiness. Some people like to say that Jesus didn’t promise to make us happy. I understand what they are saying. On the other hand, the Lord didn’t tell Israel that He was going to take them into a land where it was barren, depressing and that they would just have to suck it up.
This morning the Holy Spirit chastened me about letting the enemy steal joy. He said that this world needs to see some genuine Holy Spirit joy. Yes, Hell will try to rob us from experiencing the goodness that God desires for us to experience. I am not talking about selfish narcissism, but I am talking about walking in the will of God and putting God first in our lives. That is when we will experience true joy.
Jesus explained it like this. He said that for us to Have this joy we have to abide in Him: Joh 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (NKJV) When I lose my joy is when I start focusing on the problems rather than the Problem Solver. Because He is the Problem Solver we can experience true joy: Joh 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (NKJV) When we abide we can ask and it will be done. Then we experience true joy. We begin to bear fruit.
To experience true joy we have to make a decision to love God first and to love our neighbor no matter what. Even if our neighbor sometimes may be a little challenging to love. Hey, don’t you think God could have said that we were a little challenging to love? But He didn’t because He loved us when to many people we would have been considered unlovable.
Jesus talks to His the disciples about joy as a part of His farewell discourse as He is looking at dying a cruel death on a Roman Cross. He knows how these guys are going to abandon Him. He knows that the religious leaders are going to mock Him. he knows that nails will be going into His hands and feet. He knows that a spear will go into His side. He knows that he will be beaten to a pulp. And yet He is teaching on joy!
The Greek word for joy here is chara, khar-ah’. It means a state of joy and gladness. Just like Nehemiah the Lord has assignments for all of us. We at times will face ridicule, discouragement, be misunderstood and sometimes just outright attacks from Hell to rob us of our joy. Let’s do what Jesus commanded us to do. Let’s love the Lord with all our hearts, soul, mind, and strength. Let’s love our neighbor as ourselves. Let’s love our enemies. And most of all abide in Him. When we do that I believe that we will experience joy unspeakable and full of glory. Our friends need what we have. Those that don’t like us need this joy. And to be honest I enjoy life a whole lot better when joy is flowing. I pray for you today that in Jesus your joy will be complete.
LET US PRAY
Lord we are often surrounded by bad news. Help us to be good news people. Lord we are often surrounded by strife, malice, contention unrighteous anger and bitterness. Help us to be salt, and light and living water givers in those places and environments. Help us most of all to abide in You.
In Jesus Name
We are so thankful for so many wonderful friends. We are thankful that God doesn’t give us what we deserve, but that God gives us His best! And you are some of His best!