The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Helpers of Joy"
God exists as the very essence of joy. "In Thy presence is fullness of joy" (Psalm 16:11). Thus, He desires His creation to join with Him in the rejoicing that graces and governs His heart and emotional being. As the Lord Jesus Christ said, "And now come I to Thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves" (John 17:13).
The Apostle Paul realized this truth in personal terms, leading him to experience a deep inner joy based not on circumstance, condition, or situation, but on the joy of his Lord. "We also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:11). This also elicited in Paul a great yearning to join with God in helping others to rejoice.
"We… are helpers of your joy" (II Corinthians 1:24).
Our present existence in a fallen world greatly challenges the experience of joy. As believers who seek to obey our Heavenly Father - "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice" - we must often make the choice to rejoice when we feel anything but happiness (Philippians 4:4). This is possible because joy and happiness are not synonymous. Certainly, they often walk together within our hearts. But sometimes we must rejoice when we feel anything but happy. Paul knew this as well as anyone, leading him to affirm the enigma of a joy sometimes concurrent with sadness: "As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (II Corinthians 6:10).
Little wonder that for 2,000 years, the writings of the Apostle have led to so much rejoicing in the hearts of millions. He remains a helper of our joy as the Holy Spirit speaks through Paul's epistles to encourage our own rejoicing on both brightly lit summits and in dark valleys. The joyful God of Scripture is Himself the very essence of our joy, even as the Psalmist affirmed, "God, my exceeding joy" (Psalm 43:4). Paul helps us to see and remember this truth, and makes possible our also becoming helpers of the joy of others. Our joyful Lord beckons us to this high calling, first by enabling our personal rejoicing as we look to Him, and then by leading us to inspire others to the same...
"For our heart shall rejoice in Him, for we have trusted in His holy name."
"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations."
Weekly Memory Verse
"For in Him we live and move and have our being."