Mourning into Joy | Conclusion: How to Persist in Joy | Holy Week | Devotional Series | Part 10 of 10

I feel people often mistake joy for two things. One, they believe it is a sentimental thing. And two, they believe it is about happiness.

I want to begin by acknowledging that this understanding is not entirely wrong. But then again, it is also not entirely right. Joy is sentimental, by that I mean, you can feel it. It is emotional, psychological… et cetera. But at the same time, it is much about discipline as well. The Psalmist made it a point that they begin their day by seeking God as their all satisfying good. (Ps 90:14) And then, they would devote their mornings and evenings in meditating the Word of God. (Ps 1:2) Because this granted them joy. They delighted in this. And this, I believe, it is nothing but the makings of a disciplined life. It trains the mind and the heart to focus on God and heavenly things – as all disciples should. (Col 3:2)

Secondly, joy is also about happiness. But happiness in this context does not mean an elevated sensation. If godly people were happy (that way) all the time – they’d be useless. They won’t understand what suffering is, what compassion is, what mercy is or love or what grace is. The kind of happiness this joy consists, is the subtle kind of gladness. (Is 35:10) It is the peace that comes from knowing and believing YHWH reigns supreme over our lives. (Ps 16:11) Therefore, the only way we persist in the joy of salvation is by persisting in prayer and in the Word of God.

There is a simple ideation that I follow. I make it a point that I devote the best hours of my day to God – in prayer and in reading the Word. I call it tithing my day. You see, I believe God instituted the law of tithing, so that we learn to prioritize Him. I believe time (like money) is also a privilege possession that God has gifted us. And as the Apostle stated, once in Christ, our time becomes a redeemed time. (Eph 5:16) I think giving the best of our day is (also) a proper response. But that is just (about) me. I don’t know what would suit you. But there’s one thing I know for sure – persisting in joy is a disciplined act. And good disciples, joyous disciples, fruit bearing disciples are known by their Christ-ordered disciplined life. I pray that God would intervene in our lives and grant us the heart that seeks such discipline. So that we could know Him more, love Him more, and serve Him more. To God be the Glory.


I am grateful to God for the successful completion of this devotional series. I am grateful to God for you as well, dear readers. I am grateful for the encouragements. I am grateful for all the new things I’ve learned during this period. I am grateful for my health and resources, and the necessary environment needed for me to study, and write this short series. I had a blessed time preparing and sharing these words. I hope you had the same experience as well. Until next time. Shalom!


Series Index: (1) Introduction: Why Observe the Holy Week (2) Palm Sunday: Sovereign Mercy (3) Holy Monday: Tough Love (4) Holy Tuesday: Who do we say this Jesus is (5) Spy Wednesday: The Temptation of Worldly Logic (6) Maundy Thursday: Jesus, Truly Human, for You and Me (7) Good Friday: I Find No Fault in this Man (8) Holy Saturday: Silent Prelude (9) Easter Sunday: Dawn of an Indestructible Joy


If you want to read a thorough scriptural exposition on Redeeming the time, you’ll find it here: Ephesians 5:16 / Redeeming the time

Mourning into Joy | Easter Sunday: Dawn of an Indestructible Joy | Holy Week | Devotional Series | Part 9 of 10

The Cross has been described in many ways. In its most popular interpretations, it is either seen as a symbol of God’s love or as the symbol of our sins. Both are right. But I don’t want to focus on either of the two. Today, I want to focus on what the Cross does for us. I want to focus on the verb not the noun.

Jesus explained, I’ll be gone for a while – I’ll have to endure death and suffering. But after that will come a joy – a joy incomparable, inextinguishable, a joy that is indestructible – a joy that satisfies – a joy that grants life to the lifeless – that turns our sorrows into a God honoring bliss. (John 16:16-24) Jesus was talking about the joy of salvation. I love it how Tony Reinke puts it into words. He writes,

“Jesus went to the cross for joy: to buy joy, create joy, and offer joy.” (pg. 99)

He carried all that we would suffer to the Cross – with great agony, and returned to grants us an everlasting joy. Jesus’ words were true for the disciples. And it is true for us too. As the Apostle notes, 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 Peter 1:8, ESV) But what is this joy? As Jesus Himself puts it, it is the joy of being born again. It is the joy of being free from sin and death. And this is what Easter Sunday confirms us – that this is the joy made available by Christ, for you and me. Jesus instructs, ask and the Father will give you – this joy that on one can take away.

Dear readers, I know we read about this joy a lot. I am not the first person to talk about it. And neither will I be last. But every time we are reminded of this joy – we tend to jump on it overlooking our pain and our ailments. And that just does not seem right. A joy that comes from ignoring our ills is never permanent. And I believe that is not what Jesus was talking about too. Because the joy that Christ grants is a joy that turns our sorrows, our ills, and our mourning into God exalting praises. What the resurrection grants you and me is the opportunity to turn our sorrows into joy, our mourning into joy, our pain into joy, our sickness into joy, our worries, our anxieties, our heartbreaks, our guilt – all into joy. Therefore, an empty grave no longer holds Jesus’ body, because Christ left it as the grave of our sins. So, dear reader… whatever troubles you today, I pray let’s take it to the LORD and let Him turn it all into an all satisfying, and God glorifying joy. To God be the Glory.


wishing you and your family a blessed Easter Sunday.


Series Index: (1) Introduction: Why Observe the Holy Week (2) Palm Sunday: Sovereign Mercy (3) Holy Monday: Tough Love (4) Holy Tuesday: Who do we say this Jesus is (5) Spy Wednesday: The Temptation of Worldly Logic (6) Maundy Thursday: Jesus, Truly Human, for You and Me (7) Good Friday: I Find No Fault in this Man (8) Holy Saturday: Silent Prelude

Peace, Love, & Joy | God with us | Christmas Special | Devotional Series | Part 26 of 27 | December 25, 2019

and they shall call his name Immanuel (which means, God with us)” – Matthew 1:23 (ESV)

The only way, a Holy God could be with a sinful creature like us, was by Christ laying down His life to propitiate the wrath of God. And that is exactly what Jesus came to do. He came to grant us forgiveness of our sin, and to initiate us towards a new life. And so, the only reason way we could once again be with God, is because Jesus came down for us.

But the message of Christmas does not end here. If Christ came to abolish sin, we who profess to be forgiven, cannot continue to live in sin. We cannot say, ‘God is with me’ while we continue to live in sin. If we continue to live in sin, that is a clear indicator that we are not with God, but with sin. The Apostle John writes, “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil.” (1Jn 3:8, ESV) If we say ‘God is with me’ it will show in our pursuit of the New Life. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2Cor 5:17, NLT) Finally, if we say ‘God is with me’ it will show in what we treasure. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you” (1Pe 1:3-4, ESV)

Every year we celebrate, Christ’s descend to be with us. But we seldom check, if that “us” includes “you and I“. And I suppose, it is healthy to check ourselves in accordance to what the scripture says. If I am of God, and God is with me, it will show in three aspects of my life. One, I will not persist in sin. Two, I will pursue godliness. And finally, three, I will have (heavenly) hope of eternal life. But I want to take a moment here, and remind you. Yes, there are times we falter. And no, no one is perfect. But that shouldn’t discourage us. If we say we believe in Christ. We should also believe that He also grants us the grace to pursue such holy living. “By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.” (2Pe 1:3, NLT) Let us pray and hope that Christmas this year, would empower us to live holier lives.    


Read previous entries in this Series:

(i) Introduction: What Christ wants this Christmas (ii) December 1: Prepare the Way (iii) December 2: Mary’s Magnificent God (iv) December 3: The Confidence of Redeeming Hope (v) December 4: A Big God for Little People (vi) December 5: What He Willed to do (vii) December 6: Peace to those with whom He is pleased (viii) December 7: Messiah of all (ix) December 8: Christ is Central in Christmas(x) December 9: Two Kinds of Oppositions (xi) December 10: Our Treasure (xii) December 11: Why Jesus came (xiii) December 12: Replacing the Shadows (xiv) December 13: Christ, the Real Thing, the Perfect Priest (xv) December 14: Making Transformation Real (xvi) December 15: Abundant Life (xvii) December 16: An Unlikely Route to Victory (xviii) December 17: Freedom & Joy Secured in Him (xix) December 18: Pass Me Not (xx) December 19: Overcoming the Power of Death (xxi) December 20: Salvation Unites Us (xxii) December 21: LOGOS (xxiii) December 22: The Importance of Awe (xxiv) December 23: Secured from False Preachers (xxv) December 24: Why the Son Appeared

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