18th day of Advent
December 20th, 2017
JOY WE FEEL AS GOD'S PEOPLE
by Rev. Donald Okumu, Anglican Church of Tanzania
PSALM 125 is a psalm of Triumph. The theme of this psalm is our safety and security within God's will.
At some point in our lives, everyone feels uncertainty about the future. We all fear for the future of ourselves, our families and our fortunes. Yet we hear God's promised security and safety; He promises that He will surround us, protect us and shield us now and forever. We hear God's promise even as we stand amidst our fears for our tomorrow in the world, in our country, in our community, and in our family. Surrounded by trials the people of God live with a deep joy in our heart because we know God is triumphant. God gives us true protection and security. Even as evil pushes against us we feel joy and laughter because our God is faithful and He is our God alone - we feel eternally secure protected by God.
As the Church we gather so we can talk with each other and support each other and remind each other of God's promises. As we gather, the Lord hears us and listens to us. He sees our beginning and He knows our eternal end. He draws us to Himself! What source of Joy this is! To be surrounded by our family in Christ and surrounded by our God - we rejoice in Him. As the people of God who revere Him, we experience the presence of The Son of Righteousness rising among us, loving us and bringing a healing calm to our anxious hearts. The people of God have all the reasons to have joy because in our fellowship God's Love manifests, and we share in Love as we rejoice in Him.
Sometimes, it can be hard to be around happy people if we are feeling low. Yet in the Church, we are reminded and lifted up by God's promises. If we hear God clearly we will understand that anything suffered now is so small when compared to our promised future.
Be encouraged. Allow yourself to celebrate with others even if you may be suffering. Share in Joy together and share always God's blessings with each other. Remember, God created us to be in community - so seek out your family in Christ. Don't wait for people to talk to you, take the initiative and go and talk to them. As we press into the Body of Christ, as we spend time with each other, as we learn to love through good and bad, and as we chat sharing our stories, we begin to see the larger story of Immanuel - God with us. In Immanuel, we know we are secure in Love. In Immanuel, we delight. God is with us.
His people have an opportunity to manifest the joy of God in your direction; this is for you to begin to delight in God and His people. Here we are safe and secure so we delight.
If you return to the Almighty you will be built up;
if you remove injustice far from your tents,
if you lay gold in the dust, ...
then the Almighty will be your gold and your precious silver.
For then you will delight yourself in the Almighty
and lift up your face to God. Job 22
Delight yourself in the Lord,
and He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37
When our hearts are rightly focused; when our hearts yearn for God, then we will know His Joy.
Praise the Lord for He is good ... let all the earth sing!!
Μαραναθα, be blessed
Guest Blogger: Mchungaji Donald Okumu
The Diocese of Rorya, Anglican Church of Tanzania.
Rev. Donald is a learned evangelical minister of the Gospel, recently ordained as a Deacon. Donald comes from Kenya, yet the ministry God has called him to areas in Tanzania along Lake Victoria, into the poorest and most challenged communities in the region. Thank God for providing such a teacher in such a dry and weary land.