December 9, 2018: Rejoice and Be Glad!
Joel 2:21 (NIV)
21 Be not afraid, O land; be glad and rejoice. Surely the LORD has done great things.
Joel 2:23 (NIV)
23 Be glad, O people of Zion, rejoice in the LORD your God, for he has given you the autumn rains in righteousness. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before.
What is God’s command for you?
The army is outside the gate. Your certain judgment is only moments away. You have seen with your own eyes the destruction of your hometown. Death and destruction are everywhere evident. In the middle of this scene, you hear Joel tell you what God commands now. The words are far too unfamiliar to you. You have rebelled for years and found joy and gladness to be elusive. You went after other gods thinking somehow you would find true and lasting joy elsewhere. However, your journey only led you down the path towards certain destruction.
Now you are facing the reality of your sin, it has left you empty and ruined. You have no one else to blame. Your own folly has brought this ruin. The voice of the accuser echoes in your head, “It is too late now. God does not care for you. Look at what you have done. How could he want anything to do with you now?”
Nevertheless, in the midst of that echo of condemnation you hear these words, ‘Rejoice and be glad!”
Wait a minute, did you hear that correctly? Did those words come from a prophet who came to preach judgment? It is too good to be true and while you are questioning the source, you hear the same words again so you will finally hear them.
Rejoice and be glad! How can this be?
God wants you to know his plan for you. It is not to harm you or destroy you but it is to bless you and lead you to joy and gladness more than you can possibly imagine. Finding it hard to rejoice and be glad? Then it is time to turn your heart heavenward and return to the God who created you for joy and gladness in him.