“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Psalm 118 has amazing themes of trusting the Lord, not humans while reminding us that victory and might come from God. Verse 1 beautifully sets the context, instructing us to “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”
And just to make that point even more dramatic the stanza that verse 24 is in has Jesus as it’s context. “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone” is quoted in Matthew 21.42; Mark 12.10; Acts 4.11 and 1 Peter 2.7. (That would make a great study for your devotions this week.)
So what is the Lording doing that is marvelous (vs. 23)? What has the Lord done to make us rejoice and be glad (vs. 24)? He has saved us through JESUS! Even the Psalmist knew that salvation was an act of God that ran counter to the world’s thinking and ways, as he waited for the Messiah. We have the benefit of seeing God’s redemption plan unfold in history as we trust even though we did not see Jesus walk on this earth (1 Peter 1.8,9).
So today rejoice and be glad! Do not rejoice because of all you know, or how amazing your knowledge is, or because you have wonderful credentials, or because how how you serve Him. Rejoice because He is God (and you are not) and He has made you glad. Praise Him. Exalt Him. Take delight in Him. Be filled with joy. Not matter how great or horrible you circumstances are, we know the end of the story: Jesus wins!
The beauty of John 15 that has captured my soul is the reality that the life of Jesus can flow through us! Jesus does the will of the Father and reveals His ways to us as His Spirit guides us in this abiding life. Note the context of chapter 15 and let us not miss that chapters 14 & 16 speak of the role of the Holy Spirit. That the Holy Spirit is both working and leading focus on Jesus’ teachings. We abide with Jesus and He abides with us through His words, love and commands.
What a tremendous hope is ours in the midst of a world that is falling apart. The fullness of God for us. The kingdoms of this world clash for what they think is supremacy. Instead, a veiled pride only serves self-aggrandizement. Hope is our gift of grace. It serves as a counter-cultural force in our lives. We do not have to be rude and push our agenda. Nor do we skate through life by the skin of our teeth. Rather we live in the fullness of His joy!
Hope is a gift of grace. It is not something we find in ourselves but God reveals Himself as the provider of hope. Therefore, let us ponder the provisions of Jesus in John 15. Consider these, which I am sure is an incomplete list, as a powerful corrective to hopeless and joyless living. God, in Holy Trinity, provides…
- Life as I abide (vs. 1)
- Pruning to be more fruitful (vs.2)
- Cleaning (vs. 3)
- Fruit (vs. 4)
- Any meaning and purpose in life to counter nothingness (vs. 5)
- Opportunity for a relationship with Him (vs. 5)
- Answered prayer (vs. 7, 16)
- His own glory (vs. 8)
- Proof we follow Him (vs. 8)
- Love (vs. 9)
- Commands (vs. 10,12)
- Spoken words (vs. 11)
- Full joy (vs. 11)
- A shepherding example (vs. 9, 10)
- The greatest love ever (vs. 13)
- Friendship (vs. 14)
- A changed identity (vs. 15)
- Revelation from the Father (vs. 15)
- Selection and appointment (vs. 16)
- Lasting/abiding fruit (vs. 16)
- Means for improved relationship with others (vs.17)