Joy To The World The Lord Has Come
Many people, as you all have seen from my last several posts, are going through grief; however, even so we are told that this is a time of JOY. And I believe it is. One of the reasons many are not experiencing Joy is because of their relationship with the joy giver. They simply don’t understand the concept of being intimate with the Joy Maker. They do tend to confuse joy and happiness as being the same thing, and nothing can be further from the truth. It may surprise you that there are actually people who are living through some very unhappy times who have JOY in their hearts. How can this be?
I am glad you asked: First let me say that my definition of JOY comes in an acrostic of these three letters. Some of you have heard me say this before. J = Jesus. O = occupies. Y= YOU. When Jesus occupies you, he promises that he and the Father will come and live in your heart. Your heart will be the home of Jesus via his Holy Spirit. Jesus says it this way, “If a man loves me, he will keep my Word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” Now, before any feminist get riled up, please remember that, since the first verses of the Bible, the word “Man” speaks of both “male and female.” At any rate, Joy comes to occupy us, and we are in an intimate relationship that is secure.
How do I know it is secure? I do so because he promises us “I will never leave you nor forsake you. I will am with you always even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 20 & Hebrews 13:5.) He also tells us that, “I give you eternal life — a life that is shared with God forever — and no one can snatch you out of my hands.” Paul agrees to this in 2 Corinthians 1:21-22 where he says, “It is God who makes us to stand firm in Christ. He has anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and he has given us his Holy Spirit as a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance.” So, when Jesus occupies you, and he occupies me, you can count on a secure residence of God in us. Just thinking about this alone for a while, brings joy to my heart. But there is more.
The second thing that is important to know is that we are talking about more than being safe from abandonment. We are talking about real intimacy with the Creator and Sustainer of the universe. Most of us long for intimacy. I mean most of us long for closeness with another. I am talking about more than sex here. When he says that he is with us alway, he means in every way, all the way and all the time.
Mere words don’t really say it, but if you will consider Psalm 139 prayerfully, and look at each part, you will get a bit of a grasp of how J-O-Y Works. This Psalm tells us that God knows everything about us: He watches over us when we get up, go out, come back in and lay down. He knows what we are thinking before we begin thinking any thought at all. He knows our words before they pass through our lips. His hands are on us in such a way that he surrounds us with his presence and his love. As David tells us, it is to wonderful for us to grasp. Wherever we go, God has gone before us guiding us and holding on tight to us, even if we go to the other side of the sea or oceans. I know when I went to Korea he was already there, as he was in Europe. He sees us even if we are lost in the dark. He is the one who knit our DNA together in our mother’s womb. He even knew our unformed body. His precious thoughts about each one of us outnumber the grains of sand.
In other words, every second of every moment of every hour of everyday, once we invite Jesus into our lives, we have J.O.Y. We have Jesus occupying us. We are never ever ever alone. We are never lost because he has found us! Come what may, he is here for us and with us, even if we don’t feel his presence … even before our first cup of coffee or other breakfast beverage. He is always in our lives. He is making us new creations where the old has gone and the new has come. Because he journeys with us, we are what we are by the grace of God. We can become better than we are because God made him, who knew no sin (Jesus) to be sin for us that we might BECOME the righteous person God will make us to be. (See 1 Corinthians 15:10 & 2 Corinthians 5: 17-21) He is the Shepherd who causes us to lack no good thing and all the other special relationship promises of Psalm 23.
So, open up to Jesus and have J.O.Y. (Jesus Occupying You.) Receive him and let him empower you to be a child of God. Walk with him, as he desires to walk with you. Abide with him as he and the Father will definitely make their home in you via the Holy Spirit. Yes, you may face some challenging times, but you can practice his presence in you all the time because you indeed do have Jesus Occupying you.
God Bless You