Feast or Famine #6. “Feast of Joy.”

Feast or Famine #6. “Feast of Joy.”

Did I ever tell you about the wedding that I performed in a tent? Everything was perfect, the bride, the groom, the guests, everything…except for the weather. The rains really did come down! As the groom and I waited for the bride, I noticed that small lakes were developing in the canopy above. When one would give way under its own weight, water would cascade down the outside of the canvas flaps; and we all checked our shoes. That day, vows were made to the thunderous applause of an Auckland storm.

The couple came to visit me years later with their two preteen children. We spoke about that day, and it couldn’t have been remembered more fondly. In fact, they were so happy on that day, that nothing could have stolen their joy.

On the other hand, we have all seen events turn sour. Where circumstances have conspired to ruin what should have been a great day; it is as if the theft of joy was inevitable.

Satan is the master killer-of-joy. Every chance that he gets to heighten emotions until they collide with destructive force, he takes. Be it congregations, marriages, families, friends or neighbours, anything that he can get in between will be divided.

Christians are ever to be aware of Satan’s work. However, we cannot live lives obsessed with his destructive ways. To see misery and potential doom in everything is to camp in a dark place. There are better places to be, and better things to be doing.

The church is Christ’s bride; that which he cherishes most. Our relationship is one of absolute love and nurture. Christ has secured our eternal home with the ultimate sacrifice—Himself.

But today, between here and eternity, “rejoice in the Lord, always!” This is not designed to be wishful thinking. It is so when Satan comes knocking with his tools-to-divide that we can “let our gentle spirit be made known,” because “the Lord is at hand.” Therefore, Paul can say, “Be anxious for nothing.” Take care though, anxiety will not subside until we replace it with prayer and thanksgiving in Christ.

Which brings us to that feast of joy—”And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil.4:7).

John Staiger

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