God knows that in this unhinged world - politically, economically, socially, racially, religiously - we need joy, just like the Thessalonians! And the Word of God delivers it in spades.
During the Month of October, join with me in meditating on the following small snippet of joy texts in the Bible.
* Joy in and over creation
* Joy in God's presence
(Ps. 16:11; 1 Sam. 6:13)
* Joy in repentance
(Luke 15:6; Ps. 51:8)
* Joy in forgiveness: "Restore to me the joy of thy salvation"
* Joy over salvation
(Deut. 33:29; Luke 10:20)
* Joy of John the Baptizer in the womb
* Joy over the coming Savior
* Joy of angels over Jesus' birth
* Joy over the resurrection in the midst of trials
(1 Peter 1:3-6)
* Joy over sharing in God's righteousness
* Joy in mercy shown to the needy
* Joy in marriage: "At last! Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh!"
* Joy over life's simple pleasures and gifts
(Eccl. 5:18-19; 11:8)
* Joy over childbirth
* Paul's joy over friendships in Christ
(2 Tim. 1:4; 1 Cor. 16:7)
* Joy in worship
(Ps. 122; Ps. 43:1)
Joy over God's promises for the future; i.e. hope
* Joy in prayer
* Joy in generous giving
(2 Cor. 8-9)
* Joy is a characteristic of spiritual priests
* Jesus was joyous over Zacchaeus
* Jesus rejoiced even as Lazarus died, for what He would soon show - resurrection!
* Joy over good stewardship in Jesus' parable of the talents
* Jesus was anointed with the "oil of gladness"
* Joy in the resurrection. "Christ is risen!"
(Matt. 28:6; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:6)
* Joy in persecution
* Joy in the midst of cross and suffering: "Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us"
* Perhaps the greatest joy of all is that God rejoices in you! "The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing"
So, if the love of God has touched your heart, please inform your face!