You know that feeling when you’ve been worried about something beyond your control and someone steps in to sort it all out? The relief of a lifted burden? And gratitude to your rescuer?
That’s just a shadowy reflection of what happens when we are rescued from the dominion of darkness and brought into the Kingdom of God’s Son (Col 1:13). Peter wrote: “and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible…” (1 Pet 1:8)
Joy is not a feeling. It’s something much more, much deeper, and ‘inexpressible’. It transcends circumstance and emotion because it has its source elsewhere. Speaking to His disciples for the last time, in John 15 Jesus brought together 3 things: abiding, obedience and joy. Joy has its source in the Life Source of the True Vine, nowhere else.
What does inexpressible joy look like? It’s rejoicing though your very life is in the balance because you are ‘protected by the power of God’ (1 Pet 1:5). If you are able to rejoice while facing death itself, life’s other challenges fade in comparison.(This is not a metaphor; this is everyday reality for many of our brothers and sisters around the globe).
Joy is not a conjured-up state. It’s a gift from the Father, in the Son. So why do we appear to suffer so often from a lack of Joy? We’ve taken our eyes off the salvation that is to come. And we’re drawing on something other than the Life Source of the true vine.