Joy All the Time

The pink candle is for “joy.”

Rejoice always.

1 Thessalonians 5:16

Most students of the Bible know that the shortest verse in the English Bible is John 11:35, “Jesus wept.

However, a close second is 1 Thessalonians 5:16, “Rejoice always.

Two-word verses that carry so much!

In John 11, we read of Jesus’ deep passion and compassion for Mary and Martha and for Lazarus himself who had just died.

Jesus weeps at the tomb of Lazarus. But why? He knew what he was about to do – restore Lazarus to life! Still he cries.

He could be crying because death is an intruder, an unwelcomed invader to God’s creation. Jesus may be weeping because death was never part of the plan.

In fact, Jesus had come for this very reason. Jesus came to overturn death, to overcome the grave. Jesus came to restore life to us!

Because Jesus died on the cross, we are forgiven of all our sin. We are restored to life by Jesus’ death. Jesus brings us back to the Father, where we belong.

At the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus weeps. He feels what we feel at death. He experiences what we experience when someone we love dies. Jesus is one of us.

And yet, at the same time, Jesus is our Savior, he is the Son of God, he is the conqueror of death, the grave, and Satan!

Because Jesus wept, we can “rejoice always.”

Do you feel like rejoicing? Sure, sometimes we do.

But always?

Seems unrealistic, doesn’t it?

Ah, but that could be because we are confusing happiness with joy.

It is unrealistic to be happy all the time. That’s because happiness is an emotion. It is an emotion like sadness and anger. And we are neither of those things all the time, either.

Joy, on the other hand, is a condition of the heart.

It is something that would is impossible if our hearts remain dead as stone in sin. If we continue our sinful condition and reject the forgiveness of Christ, we will never know joy.

But by the power of the Holy Spirit, forgiveness comes to each one of us. The Holy Spirit works through the Means of Grace to forgive our sins.

And we can now experience joy.

And we can now rejoice always. Not be happy all the time, but to know the joy of sins forgiven and life eternal in the very core of our being, constantly.

In the four-week season of Advent, your church may use an Advent wreath to help mark the passing of time. Usually the third candle in the Advent wreath is rose colored (pink).

This is to indicate the joy of sins forgiven by the Gospel. It is a different color so as to focus the penitent on the joy that is theirs because of Christ. Typically, the Advent season is a season of repentant preparation for Christmas and the Second Coming of Christ.

The third Sunday in Advent brings out the joy of Jesus Christ coming to us, even while we are still preparing for his return at the end of time.

Live in the joy of the fact that your sins are forgiven by the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who loves you with an everlasting love.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, help me – by the power of the Holy Spirit – to rejoice always. I give you praise and thanksgiving that Jesus won for me salvation and I want to live in the joy of that good news. In his name. Amen.

© 2017 True Men Ministries

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.