Obtaining Joy For Your House
11” [The Lord God says] And the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing to Zion; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” Isaiah 51:11 Amplified Bible
When reading the Words of the Old Testament Prophets, we often forget that we are under a different covenant than they were. We need to view the promises in the Old Testament through the eyes of those under the covenant of Jesus Christ, not the eyes of those under the old covenant. How does this change the significance of the verse? Consider how it begins. This is the Lord speaking through the prophet to a select people, the redeemed. Yes, this was a word of promise and strength to the Israelites, but it was also the prophet seeing a foreshadowing of Jesus and His redemptive work. Who are the redeemed? It was not the Israelites as the redemptive work was yet to be done. We are the redeemed and this is a Word from the Old Testament to those of us in under the new covenant of Jesus Christ.
Now we understand that this is a promise made to us thousands of years ago through the prophetic words of the prophet Isaiah. This is a promise made for us today. That being the case, we need to heed the promise and apply it to our lives. The promise is that the redeemed (you and me who have accepted the sacrifice of Jesus’ blood as the punishment for our sins) will have everlasting joy upon their heads. That is just awesome! You may say that you have not experienced it yet, but the good news is that you now know it is yours because it is a promise from your Father.
We have further evidence that this was not a word as much for the time in which Isaiah spoke it as it is for us today. He said that the everlasting joy and gladness would be obtained. It was not obtained by them, by those under the old covenant, but it has now been obtained for us under the new covenant. So the question then becomes how do we realize this in our daily life?
First of all, understand that you are spirit, soul and body. Your spirit has been redeemed forever when you gave your heart to Jesus. The Holy Spirit dwells within you. That’s right. The Holy Spirit is always in you. And with His presence come all of the promises of the Word, including joy. Because He is in you, His joy is in you whether you feel it or not. You may say, “Well, I don’t feel the joy so I would be a hypocrite to act like I was joyous”. The opposite is true. The joy of the Lord is already inside you regardless of what you feel. We cannot go by what we feel. That is choosing to live in the natural. Instead, we need to live in the spiritual which is realized through faith. It is choosing to believe that joy is in you regardless of how you feel. To ignore the joy that is in you is being hypocritical to God!
There are three parts comprising who you are. Soul and body are two-thirds of you, but one-third of you is spirit. Rather than allowing the other two-thirds to determine how you live, choose to believe the spiritual third which says you are filled with His joy and gladness. Then begin to thank Him for His joy even before you feel it. The more you do this the more that powerful joy will filter from your spirit, to your soul and then your body. The choice is yours. Choose the joy and gladness in your household and enforce it by insisting that the sorrow and sighing flees! Possess today what you obtained through Him.
J Todd Hostetler