Personal Note: Woo Hoo! This is post # 200 today! What a joy my daughter introduced me to!
“Rejoice in our confident hope…” – Romans 12:12
A Bible conference was convened at a Presbyterian church in Omaha. People were given helium filled balloons and told to release them at some point in the service when they felt like expressing the joy in their hearts.
Since they were Presbyterians, many didn’t feel free saying, “Hallelujah, Praise the Lord.” All through the service balloons ascended, but when it was over 1/3 of the balloons were unreleased.
In Romans 12:12, Paul was saying, “Let your balloon go!” This fourth expectation Paul shared with the Roman Christians was: being committed to God’s will means rejoicing in hope. Joy is the business of Heaven and the badge of the Christian.
Men have pursued joy in every avenue imaginable. Some have successfully found it while others have not. Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found:
Not in Unbelief — Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type. He wrote: “I wish I had never been born.”
Not in Pleasure — Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did. He wrote: “The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone.”
Not in Money — Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said: “I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth.”
Not in Position and Fame — Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote: “Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret.”
Where then is real joy found? — The answer is simple, in Christ alone. He is our Confident Hope! Paul wrote Titus about “our blessed hope.”
God intends us to walk in His will with joy! It is not about duty but instead about delight! I have met Christians who really didn’t feel comfortable living in overflowing joy. It’s O.K., Christian! Joy is not a sin.
If there are two defining characteristics of those early Christians in the book of Acts they are: they were constantly in trouble and they were consistently joyful.
If we are going to do the will of God, we must rejoice in our confident hope. The secret to walking through the “dark valleys” of this life is to take along the lamp of joy—joy in our Confident Hope!