“What Jesus Demands From The World” – Daily Devotional (6/11/10): Demand #10 “Rejoice and Leap for Joy”

Matthew 6:22-23

22Blessed are you when men hate you,
when they exclude you and insult you
and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.

23Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.

Matthew 13:44

The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

John 15:10-11

10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

John 16:21-22

21A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

One of the most interesting of Jesus’ commands is for us to “rejoice and leap for joy”.  But life is so often hard, especially for those who choose to follow Jesus.  Are we to just grin and bear it?  Should we just put on a “happy face” and not act like we’re upset?  The answer from Jesus is no.  Jesus always preferred authenticity in those he dealt with.  It was those who wore masks and refused his call to take them off that he had little patience for.

So….where does this overflowing joy come from?  It comes from hope.  It comes from the undying belief that after life…there’s more.  We pin our hopes on Jesus and believe that we will see him one day, and then the party will begin!  The pain of this life is just the labor pain that we experience until we are united with him forever in Heaven.  This joy also comes from sharing in Jesus’ suffering.  When we identify with him and endure persecution or pain for his sake, we are told that we will be rewarded and that this pain will bring us closer to him.  A promise is only as good as the one who gives it.  Jesus is God and God is good.  We can take him at his word and maybe start practicing our dance moves.

***  A great song that talks about joyfully worshipping God in spite of difficulties is “Desert Song” by Hillsong United.  This is linked in my Vodpod on this page.

Blessings,

Pastor Josh

Published in: on June 11, 2010 at 6:00 AM  Leave a Comment  
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