Faith & joy
Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household. Acts 16:34 (NKJV)
When Paul journeyed to the city of Philippi to share the gospel, things initially went pretty smoothly. He was able to disciple and baptize a woman named Lydia along with her household.
Then things got difficult. He cast a demon out of a girl, which negatively impacted the occult trade there. A riot ensued, and Paul was imprisoned. Through a series of events, God used Paul to lead the prison's jailer to faith in Christ, which is where we're at as we come to the verse above. Now notice a connection here, we see that this newly converted jailer "rejoiced, having believed."
Faith does not lock arms with depression, but where there is faith there will also be joy…not just here in Acts but elsewhere, as well:
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NKJV)
Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory… (1 Peter 1:8 NKJV)
See how faith and belief in God is linked with joy and rejoicing. They feed off each other. Just look at a person who has lived a life of faith, who has gone deep in their trust in God. People like that are also people who exude a powerful joyfulness.
We all want to be like that, yet so few of us are these days. If your joy is lacking, examine your faith. Are you fully persuaded in the things of God? Are you convinced about whom God is and what He desires to do on your behalf? If not, if your faith is weak, your joy will be too. But the reverse is just as true. May the Lord build you up in your faith and in so doing, fill you with joy.
Think About It…
What does this passage reveal to me about God?
What does this passage reveal to me about myself?
Based on this, what changes do I need to make?
What is my prayer for today?
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 (NKJV)
Consistency breeds security. If you're an employer, you take comfort in knowing that you have consistent employees working for you. If your car needs to be fixed, you're going to take it to a mechanic who has consistently performed well. And if you're a coach, you'll probably draw up a play at the end of a tight game that puts the ball in the hands of your best and most consistent player.