by Ruth Olsen
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Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit … (Luke 10:21).
Can you imagine Jesus full of joy through the Holy Spirit? Laughter from the heart and whole being? Perhaps dancing or whatever the Son of Man might do … and with the laughter, spontaneous praise to Abba Father, sharing his joy and returning praise to where it belongs. We are given a glimpse of Jesus’ relationship with the Father and the Spirit.
Before these verses, Luke tells of Jesus sending the seventy-two on a local assignment and hearing their joyful report of what had happened on their return. They had seen the spirits submit to them because of Jesus, beyond the realm of their previous worldview. But Jesus anchors their excitement: ‘[instead] rejoice that your names are written in heaven’ (verse 20). A ‘new thing’ was happening – ‘little children’ trusting God, resulting in the enemy submitting to God right where they were. A revelation was unfolding to the disciples of Jesus’ relationship with his Abba Father and Jesus’ authority in the earth realm.
After a time of serving others, you may feel tired, yet you might notice an inner joy bubbling up. You know that your serving was by the grace of God, by his enabling; people have been blessed, and you can’t help but praise him. Perhaps that’s a taste of this ‘joy through the Holy Spirit’ that is discovered as we, too, learn to be led by the Spirit in trusting God at work in our situations. Learning to see from heaven’s perspective.
Joy rises up within, replenishing our reserves, even energising and giving us new strength through the process. As Nehemiah wrote, the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). What does that mean for you?
Joy is also part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23), received when the Holy Spirit is given to us. This joy is different to happiness, which can be fleeting. It’s a gift from heaven and likely discovered as we serve others.
Lord Jesus, grow in us this joyfulness you share with the Father and Holy Spirit. Give us insight and increase our understanding of your priorities. Amen.
Ruth has been the other half of her husband Steen for 48-plus years. She has lived in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales, ACT, New Zealand, and now again in Adelaide, South Australia. Together with their children and grandchildren, they number 11, so Ruth says it was rather sad when lockdown caps were 10 per household! Among many other activities, she is often reading or learning French. She is grateful for open borders now, with more caravan trips beckoning.