“Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” Matthew 26:41 Jesus gives us a two-pronged approach to temptation—“watch and pray.” But what should you look for? The word “temptation” makes many people think about money, sex, and power. But as we follow the story, we will discover the...
“O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of agate, your gates of carbuncles, and all your wall of precious stones.” Isaiah 54:11–12
The ruined city is being rebuilt, not with brick and mortar, but with sapphires and precious stones. John takes up this theme of the city built with precious stones in Revelation 21—making it clear that Isaiah is talking about the New Jerusalem, the home of righteousness: “In righteousness you shall be established” (Isa. 54:14).
So we see that these folks who have endured such sorrow in Isaiah 54 find joy in God’s people, joy in God’s love, and joy in God’s city. The fullness of this joy will be ours when Jesus Christ comes in power and glory. But in Christ, the beginning of this joy is yours already.
You don’t have to be a barren woman, a deserted wife, or live in a ruined city to experience this joy. There are single people who have this joy, and single people who don’t. There are married people who have this joy, and married people who don’t. There are business people who have this joy, and business people who don’t. Some desperately poor people have this joy, while other desperately poor people don’t.
Don’t wait for a disaster in your life to pursue this joy. Joy in Jesus Christ frees you to savor all other joys and it strengthens you to face all other sorrows.
What excuses have you been making for not having joy? Will you renew your pursuit of joy in Christ today?