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How can God provide joy? King David once committed a very serious sin, and the burden of guilt caused him great sorrow. Then he went to God to ask forgiveness saying, “Make me to hear joy and gladness … Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation” (Psalm 51:8,10).
Like David, we often experience grief and worry because we have sinned, we know we are guilty, and God is displeased. But there is no need to continue in sorrow. We can have the joy of salvation. The Ethiopian treasurer received forgiveness of sins when he believed and was baptized. As result, he “went on his way rejoicing” (Acts 8:39). No matter how great your sin, you too can have this joy.
You can have joy that will sustain you through the greatest of problems. Luke 6:22,23 says: “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven…”
Why should Jesus’ disciples rejoice even in persecution? Because great is their reward in heaven! If you rejoice in your possessions, health, or loved ones, all these may be taken from you, and your joy will be turned to sorrow. But if you rejoice in eternal life, as long as you remain faithful to God, no man can take this joy away from you. The choice is up to you.
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(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2019
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.