The Apostle Paul reminded the members of the Corinthian Church that those with authority were not there to be overbearing or manipulative, but rather to be “… helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand” (2 Corinthians 1:24). All encouragement, correction and instruction in the Church is aimed to this end.
We see that each of us has a contribution to make towards the wellbeing of our fellow members in the Church. It is not the responsibility of only those in official positions in the Church to be ‘helpers of our joy’ but it is a Biblical role in which we are all called to take a part.
Joy is not synonymous with happiness. The joy that is a fruit of the Holy Spirit is not dependent on feelings and external circumstances. It is dependent on the confidence that God gives Spirit-filled people, which is that God will meet our needs according to His Word in every situation. Joy is evidence of the dialogue that exists between God and His people. It is knowledge that circumstances pass, but a Spirit-filled relationship with God is eternal. Joy is not transitory; it is steadfast confidence in God’s immutability (1 Peter 1 6–9).
support and help each other
As members of the Church, we are each to live the best life we can and get the most out of our experience, faith and works. This can only happen through our interaction with the Lord and with each other. Trials and tribulations are usually a result of our interaction with the things of world. Although in the Church we are protected from this in many ways, challenging situations cannot be avoided, until Jesus comes again. When troubles come, we are to be there to support and help each other, not just to leave it to the oversight of the Church.
Helping each other
There are times when intervention by the oversight is the only option but, generally, we are expected to build each other up in the ways of the Lord. We are expected to be responsible for our own joy as well as the joy of other members of the Church. As we help and support the joy of others, we enhance and build up our own. This is one of the great secrets of getting the most out our lives now and forever after.
Jesus showed the way
Jesus was a servant of all as well as a servant of God’s Word. If we are serving God’s Word we are helping our joy. Paul reminds us that there is “… an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven …” for those “… kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:3–5).
As a result of the Lord’s death and resurrection, an amazing inheritance awaits the members of the Church who are co-heirs with Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:17-21 and Romans 8:17). Lift your understanding and appreciate what God has reserved for each one of us. This is an eternal inheritance — not one of things that pass away. This is helping our joy.
Jesus said: “I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you. The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them. And you are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because servants do not know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because I have told you everything I heard from my Father. You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures. And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name. This, then, is what I command you: love one another” (John 15:9–17 GNT).
(This article originally appeared in the Voice of Revival – October 2000.)
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