The Joy Of The Lord… By Pastor Ron Hamm

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11 …Whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory. I Peter 1:8

Jesus gives us true joy. His joy is not based on the circumstances of life but on knowing Him. A story from the bible will illustrate this point. The disciples had been sent out and came back rejoicing that the demons were subject to them in the name of Jesus. Jesus cautioned them not to rejoice in this, that the spirits were subject to them, but rather rejoice because their names are written in heaven. If the Lord alone is the source of rejoicing, then the fountain of joy will never run dry, and we can truly say with the Song Leader of Israel, David, “My cup runneth over!”

We do have many troubles in this life, but we can trust the Lord that there will come an end to suffering. There are seasons of sadness in this world of weariness, but indeed joy comes in the morning. Still these setbacks and disappointments are painful. By middle age, one thinks of achieving success, but I found myself unemployed for an extended time. I felt like a failure, and it seemed every door was shut. I had fallen into despair. At my lowest point, my son, Joshua, wrote me this simple note of encouragement:

“Hey, Dad, I have faith in you, not only to walk in the Lord’s will and accept what he has for you, but also to share Christ with others and continue to teach me and your family with love as you always have. I know you want to get back into the fight, and God needs you to get back into the fight as well. I’m praying for encouragement and a fulfilled joy in your life….as well as a job! Well, Dad, have a great day! Remember a thousand years is like one day to the Lord. Lol”
Love your son,

This note greatly encouraged me, and with the continued prayers, love and support of my wife, Kay, and my family, helped to open the floodgates of hope again in my heart. Soon, the sunshine of God’s grace returned and dispelled the darkness of despair. “Two are better than one, for if one falls he has another to help him up” (Ecc. 4:9-10).

For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:5
Corrie ten Boom was arrested along with her family for helping the Jewish people during WWII and placed in a Nazi concentration camp. Most of her family died in the camps. Through a mistaken identification, she was released from the camp the day before all the ladies her age were killed in the gas chambers. After her release, she preached the gospel for the next several decades wherever a door was opened, most notably behind prison walls. Even though she had suffered so greatly, she would often smile and say, “The best is yet to come.” Her sister Betsy, who died of starvation in the camp, told Corrie to tell everyone “There is no pit so deep that His love is not deeper still.”

For Me to Live is Christ
Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. Neh. 8:10b
Blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! Psalm 89:15b

Indeed the joy of the Lord is our strength! Perhaps you have seen the cartoon Horton Hears a Who. It was about Horton the Elephant and how only he with his big ears could hear the cries of the tiny Who in Whoville, which lived on a speck of dust. Everyone thought he was crazy as he would often say, “After all, a person is a person no matter how small.” Horton could hear the Who because he was listening. In the same way, the people of the Lord can hear “the joyful sound” of the Lord. It is the sound of order in the midst of chaos, peace in the midst of a storm, love in the midst of strife and hate, justice in the midst of corruption, the sound of mercy triumphing over judgment, truth triumphing over lies, life triumphing over death.

It is the voice of Jesus. Listen carefully and you will hear the joyful sound! And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; it shall rejoice in His salvation. Psalm 35:9 But what if I lose my way and lose my joy? Then pray this prayer from the heart: Restore to me the joy of Your salvation. Psalm 51:12

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