Looking unto Jesus and not at the brightness of our joy, the strength of our assurance or the warmth of our love. As a result of our own unfaithfulness or because of the trial of our faith, our love may seem to grow cold, our assurance may vanish, our joy may fail us. Having lost our feelings, we think that we have lost our strength, and we allow ourselves to fall into an abyss of sorrow, cowardly idleness or sinful complaints. Rather let us remember that if the feelings, with their sweetness, are absent, the faith, with its strength, remains with us. To be able always to be “abounding in the work of the Lord” (I Cor. 15:58) let us look steadily , not at our ever-changing hearts, but at Jesus, who is always the same.
There is for all of us those moments in which because of circumstances or physical fatigue we find our enthusiasm for life diminished. Many of the songs we learned to sing as children are not entirely accurate. Joy is not always ‘the flag flown high from the castle of my heart.’ And I am not always, ‘in right, out right, up right, down right happy all the time.’ Children always spring back quickly from their tears to laugh again but the elasticity of happiness sags as we get older. So how does joy come and remain?
The disciples found the answer by experience. Sadness has filled their hearts after the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus but all that was changed by one event. They looked upon the risen Lord and we read “Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.”
This alone is the foundation of continuing joy – Looking upon Him. His joy becomes our joy and Christ desire for us is that it will be a fullness of joy.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. John 15:11
…came Jesus and stood in their midst, and said unto them, Peace be unto you. And when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. John 20:19-20
Can We Pray? Oh Lord let me count my joy in you. May I even in times of sorrow and distress learn to trace upon your face the fullness of your grace. May I not count my strength to be in my feelings but in your assured presence and your promises, which shall never pass away. May I remember that above the clouds the Son is always shining. In His Name, Amen.