Have you ever been totally surprised by a turn of events? Especially something that you thought was going to be terrible, but instead, turned out to be wonderful? What was your response?
Joanna experienced a significant turn of events…
Joanna was a woman of high rank in the courts of king Herod. Her husband, Cuza, was the manager of Herod’s vast estates and as such probably witnessed many atrocities at his ‘whim’. She experienced the murder of John the Baptist and then watched Jesus as He grieved. I’m sure she must have wondered too what would become of Jesus if He fell into the hands of the wicked king? And His followers? Despite all of this, there is no evidence that Joanna flinched at the thought of becoming one of Jesus’ followers herself. You see, she was healed by the hand of Jesus and knew in her heart that the power He possessed was mightier than even a wicked king. She made no effort to hide her adoration for Him. Along with the other women, she provided for His needs at her own expense. She was among them that traveled with Him and His disciples. She supported His ministry with her substance and was at the Resurrection with Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James. Can you imagine her surprise as she approaches the empty tomb and is greeted by the angels who declare, “Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee?” (Luke 24:5-6) Can you hear the women chattering with gladness of heart and great joy as they run back to proclaim to the other disciples “He is Risen!”
Websters defines joy as: The passion or emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good; that excitement of pleasurable feelings which is caused by success, good fortune, the gratification of desire or some good possessed, or by a rational prospect of possessing what we love or desire; goodness; exultation; exhilaration of spirits.
Have you ever been ‘down in the dumps’, but coming to church picked you up? That’s the Lord giving you joy. God says that when we exemplify faithfulness to church He rewards us with joy because of our obedience to assemble in the house of the Lord. God promises: Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. (Psalm 92:13) Faithfulness to church produces encouragement, fellowship, protection from the world, the flesh and the devil, and an opportunity to have a part in the Lord’s work. And when we are busy being used of God, we have joy.
For Encouragement ~ Hebrews 10:25
For Fellowship with God’s People ~ 1 John 1:7; Acts 2:42
For Protection from the World, the Flesh, and the Devil ~ Job 1:10; Proverbs 10:8; Luke 22:32
For Opportunity to Have a Part in the Lord’s Work ~ II Timothy 2:2
Get rooted in a good bible-believing church by being planted through faithfulness – then watch your joy grow. The Joy of the Lord is still our strength! (Nehemiah 8:10)