finally, brothers, rejoice. aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. [2 corinthians 13:11]
rejoice! paul’s final words, and he chooses the subject of joy. the thing about joy is, we can’t just “choose” it, as is the popular slogan. we can’t just decide to be happy or content. joy has to have an object of focus. paul knows that God desires the happiness of the corinthian church. but God desires their happiness to be found in him. they were chasing after sinful lifestyles again, forgetting where true joy lies, and desperately striving to find it in other things.
we do not have a small or weak focus at the center of our joy. joy’s focus is outside of ourselves completely. we have union with the God of the universe! the lord’s presence is with us, and he is singing over us with shouts of joy because showing his grace toward us greatly reflects his own glory! so when we “choose joy”, we are not pulling up our bootstraps and putting a smile on our faces. we are living out of complete contentment in the presence of our Father who loves us! this makes our joy positional, not situational, because we are his. this makes our joy consistent, not intermittent, because his love is steadfast. this makes our joy eternal, not temporary, because our inheritance in him lasts forever.
so where does your joy lie? what things outside of the precious blood of the lamb are you placing your joy’s dependence? joy has only one source, so today, in the presence of the One who gives joy, let’s look to that source. let’s behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! then rejoice!
though you have not seen him, you love him. though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, [1 pet 1:8]
shout for joy in the Lord, o you righteous! praise befits the upright. [ps 33:1]
and the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. [is 35:10]
your words were found, and i ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for i am called by your name, o Lord, God of hosts. [jer 15:16]
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. [heb 12:2]