Archive for April 27th, 2021

Protecting Joy


Written by Calvin Hoogendoorn, a contemporary pastor.

Joy is a precious gift. It is so precious that it must be protected from forces that suppress it. In fact, Paul’s tone exudes urgency as he calls believers to be vigilant about guarding their spiritual birthright. The words “rejoice in the Lord” can also be interpreted to mean “let the Lord be the one who makes you happy” or “find your joy in him and in him alone.”

The great threat to real joy is the belief that joy is either a reward for good work or the fruit of a combination of God’s love and human achievement. The Bible, however, directs us to ask, “With what shall I come before the LORD … ?” (Micah 6:6). The answer is “Nothing—nothing but my sin and emptiness.” I have nothing that deserves the Lord’s reward and his joy. Joy is a gift, the fruit of salvation in Jesus Christ. The Bible considers any other perspective a betrayal of the gospel. No wonder Paul says, “Watch out.” God desires that we place our confidence in the gracious character and loving work of Jesus Christ alone. The psalmist says, “Come and see what God has done, how awesome his works in man’s behalf! … Come, let us rejoice in him” (Psalm 66:5-6). Be vigilant in protecting your joy in Jesus Christ!


Augustine of Hippo (354-430), an early Christian theologian and philosopher. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius (modern day Annaba, Algeria) and is viewed as one of the most important church fathers in Western Christianity.

Rejoice now, heavenly hosts and choirs of angels.  Rejoice now, all the whole earth, bright with a glorious splendor. Rejoice and be glad now, Mother Church, and let your holy courts in radiant light, resound with the praises of your people. For in Christ’s ressurection, joy has come to the whole earth. Amen.

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