Another day of snow and sunshine. This should be a perfect day of joy as children do what they do best, throwing snowballs and enjoying the snow.
Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
The picture shows a field of wonderful crisp snow, and the bars containing it. The enjoyment of the snow lays waiting for us to grasp but the bars stop us from grasping it.
Yesterday I reflected on how Jesus spoke about being of good cheer. He told each person to be happy, be positive, to cheer up, and then He went on demonstrate why they should cheer up – because Jesus delivers.
There are some things that God expects us to do. Why should God do things for us that we can do for ourselves. Being of good cheer is one thing we can do. Being in a constant optimistic mood can help our progress, but God can do more. In John 16:22 we see that Jesus is telling the disciples that even though bad times may come upon them, they will lose their lives, they will not lose their joy. The joy of God is permanent – Our hearts will rejoice.
Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did. And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.”
Just like Peter had a messenger, we have messengers and today I heard a message from a friend that sometimes God will do supernatural things for us, but we have to make some effort. The angel struck Peter on the side, sort of perhaps like a mate thumps you on the arm when you’ve not seen them for a while. But Peter had to get dressed – he could do that. He couldn’t release the chains and unlock the doors, Gods supernatural intervention had to come into play.
We are asked to put on our garment and follow Jesus.
Because Jesus was the only sacrifice that could account for all sin, He is the only one that can bring us heavenly joy.
We all yearn for joy, for the crisp snow, for Jesus’ joy. The tree sits as a reminder of the tree that caused the sin in the first place and the tree that ended it all. Adam willingly took the fruit from the tree from Eve, and Jesus willingly offered himself as a sacrifice, once, for all on that final tree.
This sacrifice, the heavenly joy is waiting for all, but we must rejoice in our heart and remove these bars, remove these obstacles. These obstacles can be fear, they can be worries about family, or about jobs or about children or any number of things. Jesus will willingly take these things but we must put on our garments, we must accept God’s love and joy that He brings. We must do the things we can do, and God will do the things He promises He will do if we open up our heart.
Tonight I pray you open up your heart to Jesus, our Lord and saviour.
Have courage, have joy, remove your barriers to God,
remove you preconceptions and fears,
give them to Jesus