“And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit”.
Some people say you can have joy without being happy, but it usually those who are not smiling. Some people say their joy is deep down inside, but what good is a light that doesn’t shine?
In John 15:10-11 Jesus says these words, “If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” He spoke those words shortly before his dark Gethsemane and then the week of accusation, slander and torture of Calvary. He spoke of ‘my joy’. He has joy remaining with Him at the time of his greatest trial and testing and Jesus wants you, whatever your trial or circumstance to have His joy in your life. It is not temporary, it is permanent based on His relationship with you. The greatest sign of God’s presence is joy.
The disciples were filled with joy. That means Paul and his team who were expelled from the region and also the church of Antioch who remained behind. All had experienced the persecution from the Jews but all were filled with joy!
Nothing satisfies, renews and re-energises like the joy of the Lord!
How can we fight the battles of the Lord if we are downbeat?
How can we be a light to the world if we do not shine?
How can we set the world on fire if we are cold and dry?
We need joy in our hearts.
We cannot have a relationship with God without Him giving us joy. In Psalm 16 we are told that in Gods presence there is fullness of joy.
A joyless life is an un-revived life.
Am I heartless to talk about joy when the world suffers? No, I have found the church with the most joy is the church that is suffering. I have wept with Christians in many despicable places of the world only to see their smile return because God is with them. I always come away being moved by their joy more than their suffering. Joy conquers suffering.
We have a resurrection that conquers death and we have a joy in God that conquers the darkness of this world.