Where’s My Joy?

By Not Known

Christ at Gethsamane cried to God in His moment of anguish, “Remove this cup from Me…”  What Christ expressed from His heart is very much in line with what David was expressing in Psalm 16.  The drinking from the cup was a refence to participating in a sorrowful experience in life.

In Luke 22:42, though Jesus had asked for the cup to be removed from Him, yet He was willing to do God’s will and be completely obedient to Him.  It was a choice that Jesus had taken.

In 1 Kings 18, another man of God was confronted with a choice.  He made a decision that reflected His obedience.  Elijah, whose name means “God is the Lord,” took a stand in a hostile land to be different from those around Him.  His foes were the 450 prophets of Baal who lived in Queen Jezebel’s court.  All of them worshipped the easy, accessible gods of money and sexual indulgence.  Baal at that time, was a golden calf and had attracted many who sought wealth.  It was also a pagan bull that was supposedly bestowed with sexual prowess.

Elijah preached about the great God who required his people to be faithful to their calling based on His covenant.  He demanded from them self-denial, sanctity and total surrender to Yahweh.  Elijah stood on the mountain and challenged them, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him” (1 Kgs 18:21).  That choice is placed before us as well.

Elijah was outnumbered yet he challenged the false gods and the pagan priests.  They offered their sacrifices to their idol but Elijah placed his sacrifice before Jehovah.  The scene was set for a showdown.  God answered powerfully with fire and consumed the sacrifices.

At Golgotha, Christ took the cup and was hung on the cross.  The sacrifice was completed and God answered, this time, with thunder and lightning.  The life of Christ was given and the sins of the world were covered with His blood.

Yet, for those who have decided to obey, God smiled and joy prevailed.  The Psalmist proclaimed, “Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure” (Psa 16:9).  At the Kishon, as the prophets of Baal met their end, Elijah was told that rain would come.  The cool, life-giving water from heaven would wash away the dirt and grime and bring hope.  At Calvary, Christ uttered the final cry, “It is finished.”  Indeed it was not to signify the end but a new beginning.  When Christ rose from the dead, eternity became the hope of the obedient.  The smile of God was final, and joy had come to stay.

Take the time this week to reflect on the joy that will come only when we obey in surrendering ourselves to Him.


Peter Poon