You can tell a lot about a person just by their countenance. One guy was asked, “You doing ok?” and he replied, “Yeah, I’m doing great, why?” The other man replied, “Well, you might want to tell your face!” The face will tell on you quicker than anything. It holds the story of what you’ve been through and whether you won or whether you lost.
Hebrews 12:2 reads, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” The joy that Jesus set before himself was our salvation, and it can still be seen in His countenance because He won the battle! The bliss of forever sharing eternity with you and me empowered Him to go through the agony of the cross and reserved for Him a seat at God’s right hand. In fact, 2 Corinthians 4:6b says, “…who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” This revealed glory is understood as God’s most favorable opinion concerning you and me and it is seen in Jesus’ face. There is a joyful expression of love and acceptance on the face of Jesus that will take eternity to fully understand and yet we will enjoy its warmth for ages to come.
With uncertainty in our economy, with wars and rumors of wars, and complete insanity in the decisions of governments globally, the body of Christ is going to have to take its place and create a lifestyle of joy. The same joy that created stability and power in Christ Jesus to endure the greatest trial and pain known to man, is the same joy that will create a steadfastness in you and me. Remember your strength is tied to your joy, and when you know that you’re about to see Jesus face to face, it creates radical joy! (Nehemiah 8:10)
There are three areas that produce full joy in our lives, and I want to point them out and expound on them here.
1. Psalms 16:11 (NKJV), “You will show me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” In God’s presence, in His face, is fullness of joy.
It is in the presence of God that life begins to take purpose and meaning. He is the one that reveals the way of life that creates a fresh, reviving nature that restores and replenishes in contrast to the way of death of this world that depletes.
Habakkuk paints a picture that could resemble the dire condition of the world today. He writes in 3:17-19 (MSG) “Though the cherry trees don’t blossom and the strawberries don’t ripen, Though the apples are worm-eaten and the wheat fields stunted,”
“Though the sheep pens are sheepless and the cattle barns empty, I’m singing joyful praise to God I’m turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God. Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer. I feel like I’m king of the mountain!”
No matter the situation or outcome, joy will have you leaping, dancing, and spinning around like King David did when the Ark of the Lord (God’s presence) was brought back to the city. (2 Sam. 6:15)
2. John 15:11 (NKJV) “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” In God’s word, in Jesus, the Word made flesh, is fullness of joy.
Your joy level is an indication of your word level. God wants you so full of His word and joy that people are like, “Hey man, snap that pill in half!” This joy reveals the awareness of a believer that operates from a kingdom mentality. We are made to sit together with Christ in heavenly places and it is from this place that all other kingdoms and powers must come under and submit. Romans 14:17 (TPT) says, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of rules about food and drink, but is in the realm of the Holy Spirit, filled with righteousness, peace and joy.”
3. John 16:24 (NKJV) “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” In answered prayer, petitions, and requests, there is fullness of joy.
Your joy is not made full by things, but by God’s word being fulfilled and being brought to pass in your life.
In 1 Samuel 2:17 (NKJV) we read how Hannah is emotional concerning her desire for a child. It reads, “Then Eli answered and said, ‘Go in peace, and the God of Israel grant your petition which you have asked of Him.’” In chapter 2 verse 1 we read, “And Hannah prayed and said: ‘My heart rejoices in the Lord; my strength is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies, because I rejoice (the outworking of joy) in Your salvation.’”
Hannah’s face reflected God’s word manifesting fulfillment of her prayer. Our life imitates His ability and power at work. We ask, knowing that He hears us and that we have the petition we ask of Him because we ask according to His will. There is no greater joy than to see God’s will fulfilled on earth as it is in heaven.
Just like Jesus, for the joy set before us, we can endure to the end and arrive full of strength, not by our doing, but by the Spirit of God at work in our lives. Let’s live in the fullness of joy, in the fullness of His presence, His Word and the fulfillment of His word through answered prayer.