Joy in the hearts of God’s People

“…how much more…”

                 There is joy to be had in life. But it is not something that comes our way accidentally.  Rather, joy is something that we must choose. In fact, it is something that can only be chosen because of faith in Christ. It does not rely upon circumstances and events. Neither tragedy nor triumph has any real effect on joy—happiness is not necessary in order for joy to flourish. Joy can be rejected, but it cannot be taken away. It is a constant in the hearts of the people of God.

                A brief inventory of life usually will reveal ample reason for celebration and thanksgiving for what God has done. It is exceedingly rare to be in a condition where nothing good can be found to celebrate. It is also exceedingly rare to be in a condition where things could not be better. Admittedly, there are days—too few and too far between—where everything seems to be just right. Even on those days, however, there is room for improvement. There is opportunity for things to be better.

                Scripture frequently notes the good work of God and the blessings that this good work brings to the lives of his people. Scripture also notes the immeasurable superiority of what God does for people as opposed to what men—even the best of men—can do. We fathers are imperfect people, for instance, yet we know how to care for and love our children. “How much more,” the text declares, “will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Jesus speaks of God’s concern for even the smallest of creatures, the birds. Yet Jesus goes on to declare “of how much more value are you than birds!” The writer of Hebrews writes of the ability of the blood of bulls and goats to provide some measure of sanctification. But “how much more,” he writes, “will the blood of Christ . . . purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God!”

                Wherever our hearts are today, and wherever our lives have brought us to this point, it is good to know that we serve the living God of “how much more!” 



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