Where Has the Joy Gone
"If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory," Colossians 3:1-4.
No March madness – um. The NBA, as well as the NHL, has canceled the remainder of their seasons – um. Baseball, too, has delayed the opening of its season – um. Lots of businesses, offices, retail stores, dine-in restaurants, theatres, have been ordered to close – even houses of worship – um. Because of it all, many people have lost their jobs, becoming unemployed. All because a vicious virus has attacked. A "pandemic" as it is called, unlike anything today's world has ever seen spreading across the globe. Fears, panic, and anxiety grip the human soul, um – what'll we do now? When seemingly all is going well, then suddenly, the "bottom drops out" – will there be a starting again, or is it the end of it all? A loss of joy?
Yes, these are horrendous times, yet driving home to me the truthfulness of God's Word. I have realized it in these days now more than ever. And so, learning it, the more purposeful reason, I believe, for living in these times is setting our affections on the things above – the immortal, eternal world, not on earthly things – the temporal, perishing world, as the Bible so tells us. (See Colossians 3:1-3.) And sharing the joy of the soon return of the King of kings. (See Colossians 3:4, cf. Revelation 22:12-13.)
If all there was to life was this mortal time, life would not be worth the living; living for eternity is all that matters. "When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child [focused mainly on this mortal time], I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up [the least important" (1 Corinthians 13:11 [brackets mine]). Apart from knowing the Lord Jesus (Adonai Yeshua) in this mortal time, there is no real joy.
Ah, yes, two worlds there are, indeed, since Genesis chapter three. That evil one kicked out of Heaven because of its pride in wanting to set himself up above God. There in the Garden of Eden, he tempted a couple – Adam and Eve – and they yielded, sending the entire human race into rebellion against God. Where pride, self-will, "I did my way," morality, religion, philosophy had become the order of the day.
It was not so in the beginning. Then, God spoke everything into perfect being for His glory (Genesis chapters 1 & 2). Then, there was real joy and rest, as God intended it to be, even in our labor. God still calls people to come back (through Jesus – Yeshua – His Son) and once again enter His rest (see Hebrews 4:9-11; Matthew 11:28; John 1:1-5; 12-14). There, harvested the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Living solely for the things of the temporal world, as in a play, when the curtain drops, the show ends. The joy, too, is lost except for the good things of it all remembered for a time.
Living for the eternal world, thanks to the curtain torn from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51) and the stone rolled away (Luke 24:1-3), the joy continues for all time and eternity to all who believe and receive, coming to faith in the Lord Jesus (John 1:12-13, cf. 1 Timothy 4:9-10).
And so, this I pray, come Lord Jesus (Adonai Yeshua). In the meantime, let it be our one fixation to live for Your cause till all peoples hear.
"Jesus said to them again, 'Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so, I am sending you'" – as salt spreaders and light-bearers of His eternal truth. (See John 20:21; Matthew 5:12-14; Philippians 2:12-18.)
© 2020 Charles O Newcombe