Day 2: EVERLASTING JOY
The Covid-19 pandemic will not last forever. It will pass, leaving the world looking different than before, but with humankind still broken. Until the day when Christ returns to make everything new, we will struggle with balancing mourning and joy in our lives. Like Jesus did. "Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross" (Hebrews 12:2, NLT). Does that mean that Jesus experienced no joy while He was on earth? No.
Jesus experienced great joy when people found salvation in Him. "'...rejoice because your names are registered in heaven'. At that same time, Jesus was filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit" (Luke 10:20-21, NLT). He tried to explain his joy on many occasions when people were saved to join the Kingdom. In fact, in Luke 15, He told the same story of salvation in three different ways to highlight the joy-filled end. The joy people experience when they find lost sheep, coins, or children does not compare to the joy in heaven when a sinner repents. "In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God's angels when even one sinner repents" (Luke 15:10, NLT). We can experience that same joy.
Our current season of mourning provides great opportunities for bringing everlasting joy to the world. People who mourn are often willing to explore new sources of comfort while we, the church of Christ, can offer the only lasting Source. "But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike!" (John 4:35-36).
What does the harvest around you look like? Perhaps you feel overwhelmed by mourning. The destructive consequences of sin are visible all around you. You wonder how much longer. The answer is until God turns our mourning into joyful dancing for all eternity (Psalms 30). And He wants everybody included. "The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent" (2 Peter 3:9, NLT).
Today is another day closer to the greatest joy you could ever imagine. Start sharing the joy of Christ today. Bring salvation to the mourning world around you today!
Luke 10: 18-24