“The joy of the LORD is your strength.”
There is one great truth upon which we as Christians can depend all day and every day. It is this –
God our Father loves us and is with us always.
(nothing) “in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” ( Romans 8:38-39)
As the Psalmist rejoiced
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (Psalm 46:1-3)
However, God is not only with us He is within us as the Holy Spirit. Paul reminds Timothy of
“the Holy Spirit who lives in us.” (2 Timothy 1:14)
We know that He is the God of power and might, of holiness and truth, of love and forgiveness, and of healing and strength. Yet He who fills the entire created order, and exists even beyond it, comes to make a home for Himself within each one of His beloved children. It is here within the mysterious realm of the spirit that He relates to us and enables us to relate to Him in a deep and special way. It is so real and transforming that the legalistic Paul gets almost carried away as he attempts to convey its reality and his desire that no one should miss out.
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:14-21)
This is the source of our great joy – the same joy that Jesus knew and of which He said,
“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” (John 15:11)
This God-given and God-sustained relationship is our greatest treasure. No one and nothing can take it from us – it is our Father’s gift to us for all eternity. As we begin to see and know its reality the peace and security that it brings will sustain us through the trials and tribulations, fears and fretting, and wounds and worries of life. The joy we find in God’s love for us, His delight in us, His commitment to us and our relationship with Him is the life-changing reality that will sustain and secure us through all the journey that lies ahead.
Pray that God will reveal more and more of His love and reality to you. Adapt and pray Paul’s great prayer for yourself and for those you love.
Father please fill every part of me with the knowledge of Your love and presence and let Your joy in me, and my increasing trust and joy in You, be my strength for the road ahead. Amen.