May 05, 2016

Unseen Joy

Luke 1:39-45

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.

—  Luke 1:41

Elizabeth went into seclusion while she was pregnant. She was an old woman with a miracle child growing inside her. Whenever she felt her midsection, this gift of God likely made her smile. Even before Mary came to visit her, joy had taken hold in her household.

Today people tend to seek happiness more than joy. We often try to fill the hole in our souls with anything that will promise the happiness we so desperately seek. But happiness isn’t what fills the gaping void in our lives. That’s what joy does. Joy comes from the inside, not the outside.

Mary and Elizabeth knew joy. It came from the miracle inside each of them. As Mary came into Elizabeth’s home, the child in Elizabeth’s womb leaped for joy because the Holy Spirit was working inside both women. Elizabeth, filled with contagious joy by the Holy Spirit, said to Mary, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear!”

Joy doesn’t come from working, praying, or believing harder; it’s a gift from God. We can’t create joy; only God can. Joy comes when we realize how much we have been blessed. Mary and Elizabeth knew this, and they were filled with joy at God’s blessing and favor.

Today may our joy come from knowing that because Jesus ascended, the Spirit of God comes to work in our lives. Did you know that God wants to live and work in you?

Ascended Lord, help me to know the joy of having your life in me. Amen.

About the author — Reginald Smith

Dr. Reginald Smith is senior pastor at Roosevelt Park Community Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he has served for seventeen years. He has also served as a pastor in Paterson, New Jersey. He and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, Janelle, Katrina, and Mariah.

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