Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

One must realize that joy is unlike happiness. There is happiness in this world that comes and goes like other earthly feelings. But joy is a permanent feeling and leaves a deeper sense of peace in Christians. However, in the midst of trials, Christians can lose sight of the real reason for their joy. Let us be reminded that as Christians, we have the ability to rejoice and have joy that the world knows nothing about. We can and we should rejoice in the Lord always. Here is why, it is :

1. Because of our eternal salvation in Jesus Christ

Through Christ, we enter into a special relationship with God whereby we call God, our Heavenly Father. Having salvation in Christ also means that one is cleansed from his sins; 1 John 4:10, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”  It also means that we are to be changed and are no longer what we once were, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

2. Because of our eternal security in Jesus Christ

Jesus says, “Rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”  The Lord Jesus Christ has also given another promise in Revelation 3:5, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.”

3. Because of our eternal satisfaction in Jesus Christ

The Living and True God is with His people, so is the Lamb of God, “He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” Revelation 21:3 and in John 14:3, “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

Everyone will have their share of trials and difficulties because it is part of living in a fallen world. But we do not despair when we consider what the Apostle James says. He mentioned that through trials, the purpose of God is that we may learn to endure with patience and to be perfect and complete in Him. There is joy amidst the trials of life. We are to look to the Lord’s promises to have joy and not to our circumstances. However, sin can rob us of our joy. A believer who lives in willful disobedience to God, will not have joy that only obedience to God brings. Joy will only return to those who humble themselves and turn back to the Lord. If we are saved to rejoice, we rejoice simply because we can do so, by the grace of God.

Elder Douglas Ho