Don’t Wait For Joy
One day, for all those who have repented and believed that gospel, we too will rise. We will be with the Lord, in His presence forever. And in His presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). Our joy now is weak and fickle, but then it will be unshakeable. We will be with Him forever and sin and weakness and sickness and sadness and all things that could steal our joy will be banished.
I was talking with a friend at an engagement party about 12 years ago, and he was in the thick of his medical training. He was preparing for a huge exam that took up the vast majority of his free time, and he had spent hours studying every day for months. So I asked him, as we often did, how his soul was. He said, “I’m busy, but I’m still fighting for time in the word and prayer. I can’t wait for this exam to be over, but I’m fighting to have joy now. I can’t wait for on my circumstances to change to have joy. I want to have joy in the Lord now.” Don’t you love talking to real Christians?
This conversation rocked me. My friend was not waiting for joy. He knew that his circumstances couldn’t dictate when he was to find joy, because our sinful nature and our fallen world will always find an excuse to be dissatisfied. To say it plainly, if we are waiting to have joy until things are perfect, we will never have it. There will always be some hardship, or trial, or shortcoming, or whatever to bring us down and “ruin” our joy. And God actually commands our joy. Listen to these commands: “Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright” (Psalm 33:1). “Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name” (Psalm 97:12)! “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Phil 4:4).