Isn’t that a wonderful word?! I have a sister-in-law that would say it is (her name is Joy)!
That word leaped off the page of my bible this morning. Twice!
The seventy-two returned with JOY and said, “Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name.” He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” At that time Jesus, full of JOY through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. Luke 10:17-21 (NIV; emphasis mine)
My lips turned into a smile when I read that Jesus was full of joy; joy through the Holy Spirit!
I see this joy from two perspectives: joy in being sent and joy in sending.
The 72 were returning from a Spirit empowered mission. Jesus had sent them out in pairs. He said “Go!” into the fields to gather the harvest. They went. They returned with joy! Jesus gave a loving correction – reminding them that true joy isn’t in accomplishment – even for the Lord – but in knowing that their names are written in heaven.
Jesus sent the 72 out. “Go!” He sent them out to share the joy that can not be taken away; the joy that is revealed to little children. Why? Because it is what the Father was pleased to do.
Do we have joy in being sent?
Do we have joy in sending?
Do we have joy that our names are written in heaven?
Oh, Father… restore to us the JOY of our salvation and stir a desire to rejoice in being sent, in sending and in knowing what You have saved us from…