“Then the angel showed me… the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month.” (Rev 22:1-2)
In the beginning… there was joy. Unadulterated, pure and marvelous joy. Man walked with God in the garden. Creation stood in the presence of the Creator, without sin, in holy communion. Free to enjoy the glory of the most supreme being, man was full of joy. Of course, sin stained that which was “very good.” Thorns began to grow and tears began to fall. Death, disease, sorrow, heartache, and grief were all introduced to God’s perfect creation. Joy was lost.
The Bible is one story- What begins with the tree of life (Gen 2:9) ultimately ends with the tree of life (Rev 22:1-2). What was lost will one day be restored. Paradise Lost will become Paradise Regained. This is the story of redemption. The unadulterated joy that was compromised by the fall will soon be restored. We will walk with God again in the Garden. We will stand in the presence of his glory. Worship is the greatest expression of joy, and eternity will be full of it. For the believer, the conclusion of all things is our joy. I have no idea what it will be like to sit in the presence of my Savior, but I do know that it will be the most joyous experience imaginable. Yes, God is working us from joy to joy.
Of course, this is not to say that we must wait for joy. Through the work of the Spirit of God, joy is available now (Gal 5:22). Through Christ, we have already been transferred out of the Kingdom of sorrow and into the Kingdom of joy. Thus Peter says, “…You believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory…” (1 Pet 1:8). God delights in our joy! Why? Because it is in harmony with his eternal purposes. If we contemplate for just a moment the work of redemption and all that’s been accomplished for our benefit, joy would no doubt flood our souls and pour out of us in praise and worship. We have been declared righteous! We have been rescued! We have been shown grace and mercy! We have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God- the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in us! We have been adopted into the family of God. How can we not have joy? How can this joy not lead us to worship? Yes, God loves joy in the heart of the believer because it leads to his exaltation.
This week your flesh will try to rob you of joy. Don’t let it. Go to the Word and be reminded of the goodness of Jesus. Meditate on the Gospel. God’s will for your life is joy- no matter what the day might bring. May the fruit of the Spirit blossom in our soul this week- for your joy and his glory.
Soli Deo Gloria!