Psalm 47, Psalm 48, Revelation 19:6-9
“…God ascends among shouts of joy…”
“…[God’s] holy mountain, rising splendidly, is the joy of the whole earth…”
“Let us be glad, rejoice, and give him glory because, the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his bride has prepared herself.”
All around God is rejoicing. There is not only worship and glorifying, there is joy. While God is just, God wants to be surrounded by rejoicing, or joy-filled, saints. You and I are called to be those joy-filled saints. It is one of those strange things where it is our duty to be joy-filled. Dutifully joy-filled seems contradictory, as if we are being commanded (as in obeying the law or a vengeful dictator) to feel a particular way. It isn’t that. Duty acts as a check and balance. It is our duty to assure that we are joy-filled saints. When doing our duty of checking the joy in the tank (so to speak), and we find it empty, we know that we need to refocus on God, giving thanks to Jesus Christ our Savior and surrendering (again) to the Holy Spirit.
The image of bride has been applied to the church since the beginning. In that image, there is a tension of collective (everyone) and individual being the bride (not in a gendered way) of Jesus. The bride prepares herself. While she may be crying as she walks down the aisle, the tears should be ones of inescapable joy, of love and thankfulness of an eternal bond. A bride that is not joy-filled walking down the aisle should really be rethinking the marriage.
That is why it is our calling to be joy-filled. Every day we take one more step down the aisle toward Jesus. When it comes to Jesus, it isn’t good to be a runaway bride.
Lastly, the populace of Heaven (of Heaven!) is rejoicing at this marriage! How amazing is that? Instead of viewing us as dirty or unworthy, we are the celebrated bride, and everyone is happy for the groom, Jesus!
1) Heart check. Are you joy-filled toward God?
2) What things can people do to refill their tanks of joy?
3) What practices or habits do you use to refill on your joy?
KD) What does it mean to refill on joy?