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PSALM 126:3

Verse 3 is the centre point of the Psalm. Verses 1-2 look backwards, while verses 4-6 look forwards. The current joy being experienced by the Psalmist is a result both of memories of Gods past faithfulness and by a condent expectation of Gods future faithfulness. This creates joy in a way the world cannot understand. The worlds joy is far more ephemeral because it depends on short-term gratication - and the future of such gratication is uncertain. A study of people who were overcompensated at work with nicer ofces than their pay-grade warranted found that their productivity jumped up to start with, but soon fell back to the original level. A Christian is not someone for whom future earthly pleasure is necessary for them to be lled with joy. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overow of his heart his mouth speaks. (Luke 6:45 NIV) Many things can ll our hearts and minds; anxiety, fear, g r e e d , e n v y, b i t t e r n e s s , disappointment and many other temporary issues bound to this world. When we recognise this as our state what do we do? How can we refresh our joy? Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. (1 Thessalonians 4:1314 NIV) As I spoke on the condence we have that her son, as a faithful follower of Jesus, was with God and that we would see him again, his mother interrupted me and asked, Do you really believe that? I replied, Certainly. She was reassured, and I was lled with joy. Why? Because I had reminded not only her, but myself that sin and death no longer have any hold over me.

How about reecting on the resurrection? So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet lled with j o y, a n d r a n t o t e l l h i s disciples. (Matthew 28:8 NIV) The resurrection means we have no more fear of sin and death. Recently I visited the mother of a church member who died. We gathered around the spot in the garden where his ashes are interred. We prayed, sang Amazing Grace and I read,

To be refreshed with joy, we could take a leaf from the Psalmists book and think about the great things God has done for us. What are on your great things list? Write them down, pray through them, and ll your heart with joy once again.

If we are not lled with joy, a good question might be what are we lled with?

Malcolm Cox, email: malcolm.cox@iccmissions.org | ICC Missions on facebook | www.nwlcc.org