I saw a little boy with his mother in the bank yesterday. He was really small and maybe two years old at the most. He was smiling at everyone and trying to clean the windows with a little cloth he had with him. His joy was evident for all to see. If I look at children who are so happy and trusting I wonder where it goes to as we grow up. I don’t see many adults being openly joyful all the time. Most people we encounter are very serious and even sombre. How does life become so bad that it is difficult to smile? I’m not talking about a fake smile or a courteous smile; I’m referring to a genuine bubbling over with joy smile. I don’t know if a saw one adult all day who could lay claim to that.
Are we supposed to be joyful? I think so. At least the Bible keeps referring to joy.
Psalm 16:11, You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 30:5 and 11, His anger is but for a moment,
His favor is for life;
Weeping may endure for a night,
But joy comes in the morning.
You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
Isaiah 12:3, Therefore with joy you will draw water
From the wells of salvation.
This verse is so descriptive. I can just see someone bending down to scoop a bucket of joy out of the well of salvation. Jesus is our source of joy. Regardless of our circumstances we must always be able to find Jesus among the busyness of everyday life and go to that secret place where we can connect with Him. Martin Luther is quoted as having said, “The less I pray, the harder it gets; the more I pray, the better it goes.”
He also said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.”
What if we tried that instead of saying, “I have so much to do I have no time to pray.”? God has a way of doing things that seems to be totally opposite of the way the world does things. In His kingdom things just work differently. Who would have thought that by giving away money and possessions you would actually receive more? Who would have thought that it is actually good for you to love your enemies and pray for them? Who would have thought that judging people who are not Christians would be a bad thing to do? Only in the kingdom of God that’s the way it is. Where is the kingdom of God? Right here where His children are who are living according to His Kingdom principles.
Matthew 6:9-10, Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
If we follow what Jesus teaches us in the Gospels we are going to allow God’s kingdom be manifest on earth. We must remember that the things we are taught in the Bible are for our own good and should be embraced with joy. We shouldn’t be rebelling against them like school boys against school rules. The consequences of not following the principles and statutes given in the Word are the punishment we receive. God doesn’t stand like an old style teacher with a stick to beat us if we don’t listen. God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us, why would He be doing things to punish us. If we go through hard times with perseverance and with joy it grows our character and our faith and it makes better people of us. Who would not want to be a better person?
Let’s practice drawing joy out of the well of salvation so that the world can see we have Jesus in our hearts.