Updated: Dec 16, 2020
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 (ESV)
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
Joyful, Joyful, we adore Thee, God of Heaven, Lord of Love... This song is one of my favorite Hymns.
The third week of Advent. We began Advent with Hope, Then last week was Peace. This week we have JOY. The Lord will be here soon. In this passage, we see some of Paul’s most famous words. Paul was almost always full of Joy, because he truly understood the freedom and forgiveness he had been granted. I am certain that Paul had some bad days here and there, but overall, he was full of encouragement.
We should be the same way. Yes we have trouble in this life, but we have such a promise from God. He has forgiven us. He has redeemed us, and we have the promise of eternity with Him in heaven.
So whatever comes our way, we should have the Joy of the Lord to help us get through it. We look forward to the eternity with Him. Although we have Joy, we must still work our way through this life with all its troubles. Because we have this hope in Jesus, we need to keep things in perspective. This is the short life, and we will be with the Lord after it.
So have joy. Abundant joy. The Lord is coming. As we prepare our homes and hearts to celebrate His coming at Christmas, have joy. Emmanuel, God with us is coming. He will dwell with us, and lead us into all righteousness. The righteousness of God is given to us.
Hymn written by Henry J. van Dyke, 1907
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love; Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee, Op’ning to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; Drive the dark of doubt away; Giver of immortal gladness, Fill us with the light of day!
All Thy works with joy surround Thee, Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays, Stars and angels sing around Thee, Center of unbroken praise. Field and forest, vale and mountain, Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea, Singing bird and flowing fountain Call us to rejoice in Thee.
Thou art giving and forgiving, Ever blessing, ever blest, Wellspring of the joy of living, Ocean depth of happy rest! Thou our Father, Christ our Brother, All who live in love are Thine; Teach us how to love each other, Lift us to the joy divine.
Mortals, join the happy chorus, Which the morning stars began; Father love is reigning o’er us, Brother love binds man to man. Ever singing, march we onward, Victors in the midst of strife, Joyful music leads us Sunward In the triumph song of life.
by Virgil Stripes