Echoes From the Campfire

As a rule, I’m a happy person, but that happiness doesn’t always get to my face.”
              –Lou Bradshaw  (Cain)

    “Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into his glorious presence without a single fault.”
              –Jude 24 (NLT)
Look at the news…  No!  Don’t!  Don’t do anything where the devil can try to steal your joy.  We live in a time of hatred, bitterness, despondency, and despair.  There are voices everywhere and they try to confuse you.  If you are downcast, why?  Aren’t you saved?  Aren’t you on your way to heaven?  Don’t let the things of this earth spoil your joy.  In fact, it should not be characteristic of a Christian to not be joyful.  Remember, joy is from the heart; it is not happiness.

         “I have found His grace is all complete,
          He supplieth eve’ry need;
          While I sit and learn at Jesus’ feet,
          I am free, yes, free indeed.”
                –B.E. Warren

Let the joy of Christ dwell in you.  Perhaps you should ask what it is that gives you joy.  Sometimes happiness can bring joy, but happiness is fleeting while joy should be permanent.  Joy is why the Christians of old could go to their death in the Roman arenas singing–they had joy in their hearts.  The problem is that we let the world dictate to us what should bring us joy.  Are you happy about having to wear a mask?  Probably not, but that should not steal your joy.

         “I have found the pleasure I once craved,
          It is joy and peace within;
          What a wondrous blessing!  I am saved
          From the awful gulf of sin.”

Are you saved?  Be joyful!  Are you living in grace?  Be joyful!  Can you feel the presence of the Lord?  Be joyous!  Rejoice, and again I say rejoice! (Philippians 4:4)  Just think, the Lord is coming soon, be joyful and if He should tarry, be joyful still.  Do you have fellowship with God; have you been reconciled to Him?  If so, keep the joy in your heart.  Ponder the words of Romans 5:2, “Through whom [Jesus Christ] also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”  

         “I have found that hope so bright and clear,
          Living in the realm of grace;
          Oh, the Savior’s presence is so near,
          I can see His smiling face.”

I used some of this hymn in yesterday’s “Echo.”  In thinking of it, joy should “echo” throughout our lives as we walk along the journey to glory.  Christ is with us, that should make us pick up our feet and not drag them along the way, mumbling, “woe is me…blah, blah, blah.”  Come on, if Christ could look at the joy and thus face the torment of the cross because of what laid behind it, then we can do the same in this life for we are heading for a city and a mansion that is in the realm of glory.  Get that joy in your heart.

         “I have found the joy no tongue can tell,
          How its waves of glory roll!
          It is like a great o’er-flowing well,
          Springing up within my soul.

                            It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
                            Full of glory, full of glory;
                            It is joy unspeakable and full of glory,
                            Oh, the half has never yet been told.”