Last week I heard a statement that caught my ear. The months of September and October are now the most popular months for weddings. I had the privilege of performing a wedding ceremony yesterday for two Christian friends. There was true joy among the family and friends attending the wedding.
This caused me to reflect upon the joy I've experienced in my own marriage of 35 years. God has blessed me greatly with a wonderful wife, four loving children and six outstanding grandchildren. In addition I have two daughters-in-law and a son-in-law-to-be who have expanded my joy. And then to also have the joy of my Christian family on top of all of this is almost overwhelming.
There are many things in a Christian's life to bring this joy. We should rejoice over our salvation (Rom. 5:11), our hope of heaven (Rom 15:13), and Jesus coming to receive us again (John 14:1-4). In this country we have many material things to be thankful for, but we are told in Romans 14:17 that: "the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy..." Therefore if we have our priorities right we can have joy regardless of our material state. Joy does not come from without but from within, but many are looking for joy in all the wrong places.
God clearly wants us to have an abundant life (John 10:10). Therefore, if we don't have this joy, the reason must lie in our relationship with Him. God would never break our relationship with Him, but in II Corinthians 13:5 we are to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith.
If we find out that we are not in the faith, God is waiting with open arms to receive us and all He asks is our loving obedience. When we submit in obedience, we can experience the true joy that is found in Christ.
-- Don Treadway - 2001 --