Joy and Delight

“The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message.” (Matthew 28:8 NLT)

Joy isn’t the giddiness experienced by a child as they open gifts at Christmas. It’s a deep, abiding satisfaction that gives evidence of the delight of our heart with who Jesus is and what He’s done for us. Joy, in that sense, is a uniquely Christ-centered response that rises up in us and produces emotion that can range from ecstatic jubilance to reverent calmness.

As lovers of the Lord Jesus, we respond to His presence and the gift of His loving sacrifice in different ways. Joy, at least for me, is more an inner realization that God has gifted me in unique and extraordinary ways, as He does every one of His children, that result in varied responses contingent upon where I am in my walk with Him and what else is going on in my life.

Think of the first time you understood Jesus hung on the Cross for you. Remember the moment you yielded your life and allegiance to Him. Being unchurched and ignorant of the Bible’s teachings, when I knelt before Him in contrition and humble acknowledgement that I was a sinner in need of His forgiveness and grace, the joy of His response resulted in almost uncontrollable crying. When I rose to my feet, I literally felt lighter, as if the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders.

In retrospect, as I remember how powerfully the Lord touched my heart and life, I can more easily understand why the women who discovered the empty tomb were both frightened and filled with great joy. Any time we’re offered a glimpse into a miracle, it brings fearful emotions, as well it should. Fear isn’t necessarily a negative emotion.

Reverence in the presence of God and His holy activity, on some levels MUST give rise to fear as we ponder our appropriate response. To be disrespectful inasmuch as we downplay or underestimate what God is doing or has done, cheapens and lessons the impact and value of not only what He’s done, but who His is. Perhaps that’s the very reason Jesus taught His disciples and us to always enter prayer with addressing our heavenly Father with honor and reverence.

“Hallowed by Your name” is an instruction that alerts us and should make us mindful that we’re not chumming with our buds but bowing our heart and life before the Master Designer and Creator of all that is, both seen and unseen. This is the glorious God of the Bible, given visibility in and through His Son, our Savior, the Lord Jesus.

Joy is the feeling we have when having been adrift in the ocean for a day and night, the rescue helicopter hovers over us, and our “savior-rescuer” lowers himself into the water and places ropes around us to lift us to safety. Delight is resting in the security of knowing our nightmare has ended and we’re finally on our way home.

In this season of my life the joy of God’s presence is sometimes almost overwhelming. His closeness to me is comforting and satisfying like nothing else I’ve ever experienced in my 75 years on this planet. My delight in being His child, I pray, is evidenced in the priority I give Him in my life, in my marriage, in what I write in these posts, how I treat my family, friends, and neighbors, how I serve Him through the ministry of my local church family, in the investment of my time and resources, and in the deep longing He’s given me to see everyone in my spheres of influence come to know, love, and serve Him as He deserves.

The longer I walk with my Savior the more easily joy is given rise in my spirit, resulting in deep and satisfying delight in His love for me and my love for Him. May you experience joy and delight in your walk with Jesus in this new year in ways you’ve never experienced before.

Blessings, Ed 😊

One thought on “Joy and Delight

  1. “Any time we’re offered a glimpse into a miracle, it brings fearful emotions, as well it should.”

    That is such a powerful picture, Ed, and so very real – overwhelming the deepest sense of our being alive as God allows us to experience His miracle, yet giving to some level of fear as we try to embrace and receive what we were gifted.

    Liked by 1 person

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