Joy because of

This is a series of reflections that I sent to my fiancee from my own Bible readings. I have posted them in this blog so that it is easier to keep track for future reflections. 
23 “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. - Lk 6:23
This particular episode happened after Jesus appointed the 12 apostles in the gospel of Luke and after a "crusade" of healing and witnessing with power. It repeated a version of the beatitudes similar to Matthew's but contrasted it with a few woes for other groups of people. In between is this verse, to exhort his disciples to leap for joy because their rewards are great in heaven.

Why should we rejoice? We sometimes rejoice because of our current circumstances, that it is pleasurable and happy. We sometimes rejoices because things are going our way. We find it difficult to rejoice because we are in pain, because we are suffering, because we are going through some tough times.

Sometimes, when we see other people rejoicing in times of pain, we do not understand and think that they are machoistic. In that case, the first implication that I am drawing is this: what does our attitude towards other's rejoicing reveal about our beliefs? If we fail to understand how people can rejoice, is it then because our eyes are too fixed in the here and now? Or is it because our eyes are too fixated on a direct co-relationship between joy and well-being (whether material or non-material)? Does that also reveal our lack of faith or understanding in God? Then we wonder, it is often those described in the beatitudes who seem to rejoice the most despite their circumstances and I tend to ask why.

This then leads me to the second implication I want to draw today. Instead of looking for a direct co-relationship between well-being that is no and joy, why not look for a direct co-relationship between well-being/blessing that will surely come in the future and joy? Isn't joy expressed because we know that we will surely be rewarded for our faith in the future, despite what we are going through so far? Isn't there reasons to rejoice despite our immediate circumstances?

To me, this extrapolates to my third implication, which is not directly from today's Scripture. How then can we rejoice? I believe and feel very strongly that this calls for us to draw our reference not from the world, but from the Word. The Word provides the best form of assurance, offers the best surety of hope for our future. The Word reveals Jesus Christ and His second coming. Because of His first coming and ascension, we can be sure that He will descend again and come back to fulfill what the Prophets have prophesised. In that case, we need to ask ourselves, how then are we drawing our comfort and rejoicing based on the Word, instead of our immediate emotions or circumstances?


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