GLEANINGS FROM THE SCRIPTURES
The Fullness of Joy
By Keith L. Estes
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts... For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and in stead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off. So says Isaiah, the prophet of Israel.
Roy Lessin says, "The mind of God is different from the thoughts of man. As we follow Him we discov er that we lose to gain...surrender to win...die to live... give to receive...serve to reign...scatter to reap. In weakness we are made strong...In humility we are lifted up...In emptiness we are made full!"
Modern man is searching for answers to his prob lems and well he should. In his search we come back to the same old questions. They are not new questions. But sometimes they come with a different face. "Who am I, where did I come from and where am I going?"
During a recent high school graduation service in Pinellas County, the valedictorian made this statement, "There is no God, you are your own God." In twelve years of school ing he has come to a startling conclusion. Mankind must now pick themselves up by their own bootstraps.
I prefer what the Apostle Peter said when he penned those wonderful words, "Casting all your care upon Him; for he careth for you!" Mankind is made in the image of God, but he is not God.
The ultimate question that has been an swered by the scriptures is that there is life after death.
Job, that old testament object of trials and testing came to the conclusion that, "But as for me, I know that my redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. And I know that after this body has decayed, yet in this body I will see God."
As we walk through this valley of the shad ow of death, with its veil of tears, we can know with a certainty that He is there to comfort us. When fear comes we know that in Him we have placed our confidence. We know that we can surrender our pains to Him because He is our healer. And when we feel that we are coming apart at the seams because of the stress, then we can remember that He is our peace. And when the gloom of heaviness seems to overcome us, then we turn to Him for that fullness of joy.
Isaiah further states: "No deliverance has come from all our efforts. Yet we have this assurance: Those who belong to God shall live again. Their bodies shall rise again! Those who dwell in the dust shall awake and sing for joy! For God's light of life will fall like dew upon them!"
References: Isaiah 55:9-13, 26:19, Never Forgotten Always Loved by Roy Lessin, Box 1300, Siloam Springs, Ark. 72761. Scripture quotations are from The Living Bible, copyright 1971. Used by permission of Tyndale House publications, Inc., Wheaton, Ill. 60189. All rights reserved.