RE Verse reading–Acts 13:1-52 (day two)
The journey from prayer to joy sometimes takes unexpected turns. It will always begin with intently seeking the face of God not just the hand of God, seeking Him not just what He can do for you (Acts 13:2a). Then He speaks. His words may be unexpected, unplanned, or even uncomfortable, but the journey to joy won’t continue unless you take a step of obedience (13:2-3). You never know what will happen next. Maybe fruitfulness. Maybe opposition. Maybe both (13:44-45). Each new step will be another opportunity to trust the Spirit’s guiding words (13:46). One day you find that you are not journeying alone. You haven’t arrived. The difficulty is not gone. But now a quiet, inexpressible delight journeys with you. You are journeying with joy (13:52). Then the realization washes over you. Joy is not a destination to arrive at but rather a companion to travel with.
Guest Blogger: Josh Vaughan – Minister to Young Marrieds & Yes, Lord! Community Ministries
0 thoughts on “Journey to Joy”
Joy is an outcome/product or fruit of the Spirit. In my life, my testimony is that it does not come after obedience… but is the strength that leads me into obedience (“the joy of the Lord is your strength.”)
The Lord recently led me into the revelation that this is not just mincing words. It really made a difference in my life when I realized that “in His presence is fullness of joy” and I do not have to earn this. Jesus said in Luke 10, “nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven.” I do not agree, as some do, that this is a commentary that spiritual warfare is not important… Jesus rejoiced that the enemy’s kingdom was crumbling… He was saying so much more. There is a rock that you can build your life on and this rock of truly knowing who you are in Him can sometimes be the only thing you have left when circumstance change…. as they often do. This for me has become my absolute solid rock and the rejoicing that comes when I truly reflect on it and am thankful indeed becomes my strength.
Later in Luke 10, it says, “At that very time He (Jesus) rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight.” How amazing that it was “in the Holy Spirit” that Jesus rejoiced greatly and then prayed to/praised the Father. The complexities of this are beyond my little brain, but my testimony is that I know I can come boldly to the Father even as a sinner… because Jesus made a way for me (“Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”…. and I can/do find Joy… which I am very aware is a person (the Holy Spirit) which is my strength and somehow allows me access to the Father (Eph 2). THEN after receiving from Him, I do my best to obey and am led into blessings and even more joy as I see Him working to increase His Kingdom. What an amazing God we serve!!