Solomon speaks of real joy and hope when he references the light of the righteous. The wicked have neither of these as these are a gift of God.
My bible helps has this verse standing alone so we will too. I don’t know where the Spirit will take us today with this single verse, but I KNOW it will be worth the journey.
Have you ever encountered a time when you had joy in the face of adversity? Why was that? Because our joy is not dependent on our circumstances. We have a joy that is born out of hope. A hope that the world can’t give. A hope of a personal relationship with God that lasts beyond the grave.
He gives us joy. He makes it well up from the depths of our hearts and rise like bubbles to the top. There it explodes and covers our life. He is the source and when we are close to Him the more that joy rises.
When I was thinking about joy rising up I got an image of a soda bottle. With a new bottle, the carbonation (bubbles) are ready for release but they don’t do anything until one of two things happen. One, someone shakes the bottle. Or two, someone cracks the seal. In the first instance, the bubbles are excited and just waiting to be released. If the bottle isn’t given enough time to sit after being shaken, when it is opened, the carbonation rushes out when the seal is broken. It always takes the seal being broken though before the bubbles can be released.
Our hearts are primed with joy from the moment of our birth. Don’t believe me? Just watch a baby sleeping. They have unexpected smiles all the time. But we need something to ‘crack the seal’ before it can truly be released. We need a heart change and this can only happen through Jesus. He breaks the seal on our dead heart and life comes pouring out. Sometimes we need a little ‘shaking up’ before we allow Him to ‘crack the seal’. An overflowing fountain spills forth in those instances and anyone nearby gets soaked. When He cracks the seal of a heart that hasn’t been seriously shaken, joy is still released and it bubbles quietly to the surface and brings refreshing.
Unlike the soda bottle, our ‘bubbles’ have a never ending source. As long as we keep that seal open, joy continues to pour through. Problems may try and ‘cap’ us but our joy will still find the smallest places to leak out. The little leaks trying all they can to force the ‘lid’ off. When you recap a soda bottle, no matter how tight you seal it, the carbonation eventually dissipates. Once broken, that seal can never be restored. Once Jesus breaks the seal of our hearts it can never be sealed again either.
So let it flow! Let the joy of the Lord fill your life. Let his message of hope shoot forth from you like a fountain. Let it wash over anyone near enough to be touched. When you need it yourself, ‘loosen the lid’ and let it pour out.
I want to share one experience with you where I needed the ‘lid loosened’ in my life. My husband of the time was on an extended deployment. I was alone with the children, being both mom and dad. My car was making a funny noise. I took it to the repair shop several times and they could not find the problem.
One day the noise wouldn’t quit and I took it to AMCO, a transmission shop. They told me that the noise was my transmission going out. I had an extended warranty on my car and was happy to supply them with the policy. Surprise! The warranty expired 25 miles ago. I was looking at a huge repair bill. I got my car and started home in tears.
On the way home I decided to start praying. When I reached home I called the warranty company. I explained how I had been trying to get the problem fixed for the last six months. They called the shop and approved the repair. Needless to say my joy was OVER FLOWING!
It took some time for the repair to be completed but finally the day came when they brought my car to me. On the way back to the repair shop I noticed the same noise. I commented on it and was told it was just the transmission breaking in process. I accepted their answer and drove back home after settling my $50 deductible bill.
After three days I took the car back to the repair shop because it was STILL making the noise and getting worse. They put it up on a stand and discovered it was a wheel bearing all along. My warranty company made them repair the problem without even another deductible.
When prayer released my joy that first time it never stopped. It carried me through everything that followed. I KNEW it would all be OK because it was in God’s hands. I had hope and that hope fueled my joy.
The wicked don’t have this hope. Their joy is dependent completely on their circumstances. When things are bad, their joy is absent. We can have joy no matter what the circumstances. But the GREATEST joy comes from knowing we have an eternal hope. The ‘joy’ of the wicked will not go beyond the grave. No matter how ‘happy’ they are at their death, once on the other side, it ALL gets burned away. Hell awaits and there is NO joy in hell.
Father God, THANK YOU for Your joy. Thank You for ‘cracking the seal’ on my heart. For giving me a never ending hope. Let me ‘spill out’ on those around me so they too can receive Your joy. Help me remember to NOT let circumstances ‘cap’ my fountain.