"So you became our followers and the Lord's; for you received our message with joy from the Holy Spirit in spite of the trials and sorrows it brought you" (1 Thessalonians 1:6).
Mary was so radiant it was as though she had swallowed a light bulb. Wherever she went, there was the radiance of the Lord's presence about her. She literally bubbled over with joy, and whenever she talked about the Lord her words came so quickly they practically tumbled over each other. She was an exciting, contagious person to be around, and many nonbelievers inquired of her, "Why are you so happy? What makes you so different?"
To which, of course, she would always respond by telling them about our wonderful Lord and how He had filled her heart with His joy.
The verse for today clearly indicates that joy comes from the Holy Spirit, who came into this world to glorify Christ. We are told in Galatians also that the fruit of the Spirit is joy, among other things.
When we are filled with the Spirit and thus growing in the fruit of the Spirit - which includes joy - then we will express that joy by singing and making melody in our hearts to the Lord. A happy heart inevitably will be reflected in a joyful countenance.
"I presume everybody has known someone whose life was just radiant," R. A. Torrey said. "Joy beamed out of their eyes; joy bubbled over their lips; joy seemed to fairly run from their fingertips. The gladdest thing on earth is to have a real God."
In the words of an unknown poet:
"If you live close to God and His infinite grace,
You don't have to tell; it shows on your face."
TODAY'S ACTION POINT: I will not expect to find joy in things, or even in other people primarily, but rather in the source of all joy - God's Holy Spirit. With His help, I will share His supernatural joy wherever I go.
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