Jesus not only came to set us free from sin and the curse of the law but he also brought us eternal life. This is wrongly understood that we will only live with Him in the Heavenly Mansions. Salvation is more than providing us with an insurance policy that enables us to live for ever in the heavens. By focusing on this free ticket that we have to the heavenly apartments, affects how we live out our life as a born again child of God.
John 10:10 is often quoted with reference to the damage that the enemy is doing to the sons and daughters of God as he roams the earth; but the rest of the verse in not quoted, and in not doing so we over look the central aspect of the gospel.
Jesus has said - I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. This is the true essence of eternal life; life lived to the fullest while here on earth. To me this encompasses victory, prosperity, peace, contentment, healing; living at one with the Father. Being taught by the Holy Spirit with new revelation almost daily, being able to witness signs and wonders wrought by your word and hands.
This fullness is often a far cry from the discipleship life that many believers live by. I was reading the other evening from Isaiah 12 and came across this verse which I believe is a word that needs to be shared among the Body of Christ. Verse 3
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Joy is to be the expression in our hearts. The Joy of the Lord will be our strength. The joy of the Lord will be our peace. The joy of the Lord will be our victory. The joy of the Lord will be our authority. The joy of the Lord will be our security. The joy of the Lord will be our righteousness and glory. The joy of the Lord is eternal life. The joy of the Lord is life lived to its fullest. The joy of the Lord is Christ in you the hope of glory.
Joy is not to be confused with gladness or happiness, nor is a ‘happy clappy’ attitude. Even the dictionaries with the meaning that of ‘great happiness or delight’ came far short of the biblical understanding. Joy encompasses the knowledge that you are doing Gods will for Jesus himself; with Joy endured the cross. Hence there is a sense of being surrounded by Gods love and all is well; for you have learned to be content in whatever state you find yourself in.
There fore it is with joy that you draw water from the wells of salvation on a daily basis as your eyes are fixed on the prize that awaits us in heaven.
May joy be yours in the Lord through Christ.
THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica. All rights reserved worldwide. (New International Version Bible Online)
Joy. It is a topic near and dear to me for I think is something many Christians are confused about it. As you mentioned, they equate it with gladness or happiness and that's not true. Nowadays, when I think about joy, I recall how in a hospital room with a damaged brain, I literally screamed out to carolers to please sing "Joy To The World" over and over again until they complied and then the tears ran down my face as they sang. Why, because despite my circumstances I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was loved by God no matter what and truthfully, in the physical and mental state I was in, that was the only thing that mattered.
Oh that we would understand that, John! Oh that we would understand that we are not victims of our circumstances, we are victors over them through Jesus Christ. God loves us! He has compassion on us! He has not left us to ourselves or abandoned us! He longs for us to be His dear children! We have no reason to not have joy and if we don't, we need to ask God to fill us with His joy!