“… no one will take away your joy” (John 16:22). What a promise by the Son of God to those in Christ! It’s an immense blessing to be able to say, in the latter days of a long and abundant life, “Yes and amen!” There are the quiet joys in these summer months like a walk in the park at the dawn of a new day, savoring the blessings of the moment and memories of other dawns in a richly blessed life. There are also grace-drenched memories of intense moments when God made his Sovereign hand so obvious, when the ax head floated in my life, when the seas parted and permitted safe passage, when the broken airplane continued to fly, when tracers in the face appearing too thick to fly through MISSED–ecstatic joy! When the darkness of despair over this increasingly unrecognizable world threatens to overwhelm, remembering past providences brings the dawn of reassurance of the hope divinely implanted in my soul. Like the communion table commemorating the Sovereign act in which my joy is anchored, the hinge of human history that assures my salvation, they are remembered with joy and thanksgiving until he comes again. “…looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2). Can you even begin to wrap your mind around love so amazing, so divine that could endure the cross in your stead and call it joy? Does it not demand your soul, your life, your all? And wouldn’t you joyfully give it?

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” The Holy Spirit instilled confidence that God is sovereign, omnipotent, loving and working all things for the good of his chosen is the joy that gives you the power to live for Christ in a fallen world.

Let us rejoice in gathered worship this Holy Sabbath. See you in church.

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