I Peter 1:8-9 (TLB) You love him even though you have never seen him; though not seeing him, you trust him; and even now you are happy with the inexpressible joy that comes from heaven itself. And your further reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
Inexpressible – [in-ik-spres-uh-buh l] not expressible; incapable of being uttered or described in words.
Happiness is a fleeting emotion. It comes and goes with the conditions of our life, driven by our circumstances and subject to our situation. However, as believers, there is a gift of inexpressible joy that comes only from our Father in Heaven. It touches our soul in such an indiscernible manner that mere words cannot begin to testify to what God has done in our innermost depths. A friend gave a sweet testimony of surrender yesterday. I could relate. She had been through a test of her faith and brought it before the Lord often until one day she realized that the burden was gone. The chain on her heart forever broken by her Champion – King Jesus. The worship that followed was indescribable. The words on the screen were the script of my life for the last five years until the Holy Spirit revealed that which had shackled me to fear and kept me hidden in intimidation. My “Elijah-moment”, if you will, when after a great victory over the prophets of Baal, he goes into hiding. Why? How could such a victory lead to agonizing defeat and despair? Friend, I have come to the understanding that every day for the rest of my life the enemy will wage war against me – but without hesitation, I also know that Jesus Christ always wins. As the song continued to play, tears on my face, I began to dance. The more I danced the more joy came pouring out. Years of bondage and struggle were gone…as the lyrics proclaimed, “I’m dancing on the grave that once held me bound… I’m dancing on the chains that are lying on the ground… I’m dancing out of the dark… I’m lighting up the night… Your joy becomes my weapon and I am here to fight.”
This is inexpressible joy. The kind of joy that is uncontainable and comes pouring out of your soul. It just overflows. The freedom found in Jesus Christ is undeniable yet few will ever dance such a dance. God wants to give you inexpressible joy. It comes in the most unlikely way. It comes through…
I Peter 1:7 (TLB) These trials are only to test your faith, to see whether or not it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests gold and purifies it—and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold; so if your faith remains strong after being tried in the test tube of fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day of his return.
Faith is refined through the fiery trials of life. It tests all that is believed to be truth concerning us and our relationship with the Living God. There is purpose in each fight for our faith. The blessing of such an endeavor is inexpressible joy. There will always be an enemy but we always have victory in Christ. The more determined you are to experience the godly life God has planned for you and more disciplined you become in faith, trust, and obedience the greater the battle. The enemy is concerned with mediocrity or compromised. He targets the faithful and committed for they are the ones who have something to lose. He strategizes natural ways to steal from them, kill their faith and destroy them altogether. It’s called damage control. If he cannot have your soul – he will fight for you to give it up. So the work of God is in the very depths of our soul and will be released in his good time.
I Peter 5:6 (TLB) If you will humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, in his good time he will lift you up.
We must learn to live in God’s Timing. There are works being done deep inside of us hidden from the enemy that even we are unaware of. But the promise of this passage is that in due time (his good time) when you are ready, it will come pouring out of you. God will lift you up! In that moment yesterday, I was all alone in the Presence of God. Like David dancing before the Ark in 2 Samuel 6:15-22 – I really didn’t care who was watching. In fact, someone text me that they had actually captured it on video. I am not ashamed. How can I be? My soul is set free in the One I love. The secret is surrender. Full surrender. Surrendering to God completely gives us a life of victory – it doesn’t matter what the weapon is – we overcome. Christ is our victory! But He doesn’t stop at winning…
Psalm 30:11-12 (NLT) You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever!
After our son was healed from cancer against devastating odds, I was so thankful. Faith in God paid off. Trusting Him completely worth it. Hope kept us anchored and secured. To say, I loved the Triune Person of God would be an understatement. My life was completely surrendered to Him forever. He had been so good to me. God could have left me in my hiding place. Humbled to the point of complete and utter brokenness. But He didn’t… Friend – God wants your soul! He will stop at nothing to secure it. But you know what else – He wants you to have joy in your salvation that is evident and overflowing for all to see. An inexpressible joy that comes out of your soul in copious measure spilling out for the world to see. Genuine faith will do that. It comes at the price of self. There will be trials in the life but your Jesus promises that you will overcome. But don’t stop there… chase after inexpressible joy. Decide to have it. As my sweet friend shared yesterday, she continually took her burden to the altar until one day she left without it. She cannot tell you when or how but that now she is set free. Do you want to dance the dance of freedom? Do you want to feel weightless and carefree in the Presence of God? He is waiting for you… The Light of the World will drive out all darkness so that you become a beacon of the Light of His Love. To reach others who cannot find their way out of the night. His Love is so great that even in the midst of our own devastation and the consequence of our sin that He desires to give us beauty for ashes, joy for mourning and praise for our heaviness. To God be All Glory!
Isaiah 61:3 (TLB) To all who mourn in Israel he will give: beauty for ashes; joy instead of mourning; praise instead of heaviness. For God has planted them like strong and graceful oaks for his own glory.