Resurrection Joy

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message.

Matthew 28:8

As the women ran from the tomb with the good news of Jesus’ resurrection, they were afraid, but also “filled with great joy.” Joy is not the same as raw happiness. In fact, it is often mixed with a variety of emotions. In the case of the women in Matthew 28, their joy came even as they were “very frightened.” Joy is a sense of rightness and delight in the Lord. It gives us energy to live for Christ even in times of trial and suffering.

In a world filled with self-anointed victims and complainers, genuine joy in Christ marks Christians as distinctive. Though we go through hard times just like other people, we don’t experience them just like other people. We know that God is ultimately in control, that our lives are in his hands, and that we will one day thrive in his new creation. Moreover, we are confident that God is with us even in our struggles. Thus we can take up the biblical challenge to “Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again—rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4). The key is to live “in the Lord,” who makes rejoicing possible.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: Are you experiencing joy as a regular part of your Christian life? If so, why? If not, why not? What gives you true joy in the Lord? Do you allow people in your life to sense your joy in Christ?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, as I read this story, I must admit to being envious. How I wish I were there on that first Easter morning! What a wonder it would have been to see you in your resurrection glory!

Lord, you know that I sometimes find it hard to rejoice. I can get so caught up in the things that bug me, not to mention more serious challenges and pains. Forgive me for living without joy so much of the time. Teach me, by your Spirit, to rejoice in you, and to live with your joy not only in my heart but in my words and actions. May my joy point people to you, Lord! Amen.