God fills us with JOY - 24 February 2020

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

It was a late afternoon when a bakkie stopped next to a man walking in the dirt road. The sweat on the hiker’s forehead spoke volumes about the weight of the back pack he carried on his back. He immediately accepted the lift, jumped on the back of the bakkie and the driver left.

After a while, the driver of the bakkie looks in the rear-view mirror. To his surprise, the hiker still had the heavy back pack on his back. The driver stopped, opened his window and called to the man on the back: “You can take the heavy load off your back.” Without a moment’s hesitation, the hiker replied: “Sir, I’m already so grateful for the opportunity to receive a lift. I can’t expect you to carry the heavy back pack as well.”

It almost sounds absurd. The man is already on the bakkie. Yet at times we are just like the hiker. We forget that God sent His Son, Jesus Christ so He can set us free and fill us with JOY.

In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Also in Nehemia 8:10 we are reminded: “ . . . the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

What do we carry with us that robs us from our joy? Bitterness, fear, anger, hatred or guilt? Maybe shame about wrong decisions in the past or worrying about something in the future? Let’s take off the back pack today. Let us accept the freedom of God, our restorer of JOY and let’s walk into this week with confidence. God bless.

Father God, thank you for carrying my burdens and filling me with JOY. Please help me to put down (name the burden in your life) at your feet. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen