Monday, October 19, 2009

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy
August 24, 2009
Psalm 51:12 " Restore to me the joy of your salvation. . ."

I am not a morning person; in fact, I want to be left alone in the morning. I get irritated with certain individuals who can wake up early and be quite chipper. I had an employee once, Shad, who would always come to work, well, happy. I never let it irritate me, but underneath I was resentful that I couldn't be so happy and excited to just be alive. I was glad that he came to work in a great mood, excited and ready to work. Shad was an exemplary employee, one I wish I could duplicate. And he would come to work and say peculiar things like, "What a beautiful day the Lord has made," even though it was cold and rainy outside. I couldn't be irritated at that, despite not having an appreciation for the cold and rain. I learned from Shad's attitude and delightful sayings, that he was a Christian. He had a strange accent, though, one I'd never heard before. He was certainly not from around my neck of the woods, anyway, so I asked him where he was from and how he came to be a Christian.

Shad told me a story about his growing up with a harsh, Muslim father. He told me that he grew up in Jerusalem, but that He was Egyptian. The Jews didn't want anything to do with him, the Palestinians didn't want anything to do with him, and his father certainly didn't care, just as long as he was Muslim. Shad recounted how he was growing up to be a harsh person, just like his father. He knew of the man named Jesus, but thought Muhammad was the prophet everyone should be following. Shad said that one day, Jesus appeared to him in a dream, almost as if it was in real life, and Jesus asked Shad to follow Him and become a Christian. Shad instantly new that Jesus was real and immediately became a Christian. Shad's family disowned him because of his newfound Christianity. Shad felt the Lord leading him to America where h e could be free to worship Jesus Christ without persecution. And so, long story short, Shad gave his life to the Lord and moved to the United States. Shad said that ever since then, he has simply been happy to be alive and thrilled that Jesus came into his life.

We, as Christians, often forget the real encounter we each had with Jesus, being thrilled to have Jesus in our lives. We almost take it for granted, the fact that we have been saved from an eternity in Hell, and we live out our lives like every other human being, unhappy and just going through the motions. We forget the joy of our salvation. King David knew this when he wrote Psalm 51. David had taken his relationship with God for granted, and lived like every other human being. He came to the realization of why he needed a Savior. He wanted that joy back, that feeling of satisfaction of just having a relationship with the Lord, realizing that if he had God, he had everything he needed.

Today, Christian, it is time to remember the joy of your salvation, the satisfaction of simply having a relationship with the Lord, knowing it is all you need. Who knows, it might even make you a happy person again? I'm hoping it will help me become a morning person.

1. How have you lost the joy of your salvation?
2. What was your encounter with Jesus that changed your life?
3. How can you recount your encounter with Jesus and be sustained by simply having a relationship with Him even if you have nothing else?

Add. Scriptures for Study: Is 12:3, 1 Thess 5:16, 1 Peter 1:8, 1 Peter 2:9, 3 John 1:4

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