I was reading the Gospel of Luke and had arrived at Chapter 21.
I looked up from the page, thinking how closely today’s news lines up with those verses.
Jesus spoke those words to his disciples, warning them about the tragedy that would befall the people of Jerusalem in a few years (AD 70).
But he was also prophesying about the tragedy that was going to befall peoples of many nations in the following centuries.
The Holy Spirit’s voice interrupted my thoughts. It’s really dark out there, he said. Yes, it is, I agreed.
“Gloom, despair and agony on me?” he added. I nodded yes, recalling the old Hee Haw skit. (https://youtu.be/ZAAKPJEq1Ew)
He went on. Depression. Worry. Anxiety. Fear. Hopelessness. Agony of soul and body. There is such gross violence covering the earth.
Yes, I said, there is. This conversation was getting really negative. Where was it going? I wondered. There was a brief pause, before he added –
And is there Joy?
Joy?! I wondered. Other scripture passages began to roll through my mind.
There is joy in the presence of the angels when a sinner repents. “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10 NIV)
Count it all joy when you face various temptations. (Temptations to be depressed, anxious, fearful, perhaps). “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” (James 1:2-3 NIV)
Ask and receive answers to your prayers, that His joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:24)
A man has joy by the response of his lips. “A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth.” (Prov. 15:23)
“The joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Neh. 8:10)
God rejoices! “The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” (Zeph. 3:17 KJV)
Jesus rejoiced. “Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” (Luke 10:21 KJV)
Rejoice! Dance, twirl around in glee and happiness, laugh, clap, shout in delight. That’s what that word means, in the original languages. That’s what Jesus did in his spirit, when he rejoiced.
I could suddenly see him doing that. And he said he only did what he saw his Father doing — “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing…” (John 5:19) So, Father God was doing all that also. Rejoicing. Amazing!
The Holy Spirit continued his comments. Thousands upon thousands are coming into the kingdom, being metamorphosed, changed from darkness to light, spiritual death to life, transformed as they believe my word and are born again. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Cor. 5:17 KJV)
And There Is Joy!
Don’t just see with human eyes. See with Jesus eyes.