Sunday, 20 June 2021
Title: Joy of the Lord
By Elder Tan Seng Kee
Bible Verse: Matt 5:12
I dropped by to check on a senior pastor of my church during this current MCO/lockdown. Visitations are not allowed so it is just a few handwaves and greetings over the fence from a distance. The senior pastor with age continues to face health challenges himself and in his spouse. There were other concerns in his family as well. Yet what was most obvious in this momentary encounter was the wide smile on his face and the extremely cheerful disposition he has. The senior pastor continues to ask of me and my family. I know he continues to pastor, love, pray and care for many within and outside his own church. The senior pastor is extremely joyful amidst troubling times.
“Rejoice and be glad” (Matt 5:12) was Jesus’ command to his disciples when facing persecutions. How do we rejoice in difficult days like these when mega challenges assail many of us on an almost daily basis?
I think the answer lies in “Where is the source of our joy?” If our joy depends on external circumstances, then it will evade us because these are troublesome days devoid of joy. We can, however, rejoice if our joy comes from Jesus. Joy from Jesus comes from times of prayer, meditation and the reading of His word, worship and fellowship with God’s people. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Joy is Spirit-given. Joy is Spirit-gifted. Jesus wants us to have joy and gives us joy when we become Christians and the Holy Spirit indwells us. Joy comes when we make up our mind to trust in Jesus. Joy is the internal contentment in Jesus that abounds in hope and thanksgiving to God. Joy is the peace that floods our soul when we read and store up on God’s words in our heart. Joy is the assurance that overwhelms us when God reminds us that He will never leave us nor forsake us.
Joy is not the absence of problems but it is the daily presence of Jesus in our lives. Psalms 16:11 “…In your presence is fullness of joy” and with joy comes confidence, wisdom and strength for each one of us to navigate the storms of life. Joy also comes when we are quick to confess our sins and ask God for forgiveness and go to God for help to walk in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. We can continue to rejoice if that joy comes from Jesus and is in Jesus. Nehemiah 8:10 reminds us of some of the things we can do when we rejoice: “Go and celebrate with a feast of choice foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” The great thing about me being a Christian is that it is not just about myself anymore or my welfare alone but it is always about caring for others as well and sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Prayer: God, I ask that You help me to trust in You more so that I will continue to experience the joy of the Lord which shall strengthen me and give me the peace to carry on living the Christian life. I pray that I will consciously look out and care for others within my midst. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
星期日, 2021 年 6 月 20 日
马太福音 5:12 应当欢喜快乐，因为你们在天上的赏赐是大的。在你们以前的先知，人也是这样逼迫他们。
喜乐不是没有生活上的问题，而是耶稣基督每天在我们生命中的同在。诗篇 16:11 “……在祢面前有满足的喜乐”，喜乐带来信心、智慧和力量，让我们每个人都能驾驭人生的风暴。当我们迅速承认自己的罪并祈求上帝的宽恕，并寻求祂的帮助，为祂的名走在正义的道路上时，喜乐也会随之而来。如果这种喜乐来自耶稣并且在耶稣基督里，我们就可以继续拥有喜乐。尼希米记 8:10 提醒我们在喜乐时可以做的一些事情：“你们去吃肥美的，喝甘甜的，有不能预备的就分给他，因为今日是我们主的圣日。你们不要忧愁，因靠耶和华而得的喜乐是你们的力量。” 我成为基督徒的好处在于，它不再只是关乎我自己或我的福利，而是关心他人和分享耶稣基督的福音。