I wish to encourage you to be glad in the Lord.
Jesus Christ gives us many reasons to be glad, thankful, and joyful. While gladness may be kindled by many things, for the believer it is primarily set alight by all things God. King David recognised this when he said; “I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and exult in you; I will sing praise to your name, O Most High” (Psalm 9:1-2).
God’s supernal majesty, along with His extraordinary deeds, fired David into praise, thanks, and worship, all giving expression of his gladness. “Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure” (Psalm 16:9). David’s gladness flowed from his inner most being, radiating out the realisation of security, so that even his body was physically aware of it. Gladness in the Lord positively affects our entire being, as Solomon makes clear, “A glad heart makes a cheerful face” (Proverbs 15:13).
Counter to worldly thinking about self-image, self-importance, self-love, self-forgiveness, self-motivation, and all other self-philosophy, we who love and trust Jesus Christ happily acknowledge our weaknesses and vulnerabilities rather that deny them. For us, the Lord’s reassuring words to Paul remain true today; “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, we agree with Paul’s response, “I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
When rebellious sinners return to the Lord repentant, we gladly respond as the brother of the prodigal son was exhorted, because it’s “fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:32). The salvation of another should propel worship with great joy, because we understand the eternal value of a rescued soul in God’s sight.
A Cautionary Note
With gladness comes the cautionary note concerning how to treat those who mistreat us; “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles” (Proverbs 24:17). When we’re glad in the Lord, His mercy effects our responses to others, even our enemies, who we are to love and pray for (Matthew 5:44; Luke 6:35). Being born again in Jesus Christ, indwelt by His Holy Spirit, we recognise that we’re blessed “when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven” (Matthew 5:11-12). “Rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed” (1 Peter 4:13).
Regardless of circumstances, and in spite of personal pain or sacrifice, the believers priority is that Jesus Christ is exalted, and in this we are the most glad! The Lord declares; “Let those who delight in my righteousness shout for joy and be glad and say evermore, ‘Great is the LORD, who delights in the welfare of his servant!‘ To which we respond, “Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness and of your praise all the day long” (Psalm 35:27-28).
I encourage you to show your gladness in the Lord today. Believers should not be secretive or shy, put timidity behind you, radiate the wonder of sins forgiven and the security of knowing the free gift of eternal life. Speak well of the Saviour today, for “Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages” (Psa 135:13).
Together for Christ: Lincoln Forlong www.bbf.net.nz