". . . there was great joy in the city." Acts 8:8
The underlying foundation of the Christian faith is the love of God shown in Christ on the cross – a love that is not earned and can never be. As disciples gripped by that love, we have a joy that comes from experiencing victory in the thing that looks as if it is going to overwhelm us. Our joy is not built on anything other than the love of God that nothing can change.
Joy was the word that was associated with early Christianity. The announcement of the birth of Jesus broke into the negative space of night with the words "I bring you good news of great joy."
Yet, joy has disappeared from the lives of many Christians. Many are gloomy, despairing, and uncertain of their life in Christ. In contrast, it's Christians and the church that should be the very fountain of joy, delight, and triumph. Many continue to live in a valley of tears and depression. The church has become more gifted in sighing than singing of His life over death.
We are called to joyously lift the blood red banner of the cross high in the air and wave it with defiance in front of a world who is unaware of the unchangeable victory available to them. Because Christ has abolished death, there is joy. The presence of Christians in the world is the message of hope and joy sending out the clear sound that's there's no need to spend this life languishing in dread like a condemned prisoner awaiting the arrival of the executioner.
Joy comes having a right relationship with God. Once you find it in Jesus, then out of you will flow rivers of living water. When we are in a right relationship with Jesus, bringing hope is as natural as breathing. The joy that resides in a Christian is meant to transform the atmospheres of all the places they live and work. The job of our joy is to love Jesus in whatever circumstance we find ourselves.
Have you allowed Jesus to introduce you to His joy?