Easter is a celebration of joy. It is also a celebration of hope and new life, which lead to joy. Easter reminds us that when things look to be at their worst and our dreams have been crucified, hope remains. The possibility of resurrection remains. The joy of new life may be just around the corner and we don't know it yet. Last week I wrote about feeling down. It is a certainty in this life. But joy is also a certainty. What goes down must come back up. But the joy that God offers us is even deeper than that.
Romans 15:13 points us to a joy that is deeper than just having a good day. This joy flows out of hope and new life. This joy comes from within. From the Holy Spirit. This joy is what we celebrate during Easter. Paul writes, "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
The resurrection of Jesus is celebrated all over the world. It primarily points us to the hope we have of a new earth where all the pain and suffering of this world will have passed away (see Rev. 21:1-4). And of course, we long for that day. And I'm sure we all have days where that hope is that only thing keeping us going. But Romans 6:4 also promises that "just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life." The resurrection of Jesus not only points to our future resurrection, but also to the possibility of a present resurrection. This is the resurrection of our hearts.
What does that mean? It means that you can have lots of problems and still have joy. It means that your outer world doesn't have to be perfect for your heart to rejoice. It means that you can wake up each morning with a heart full of hope because of Jesus. It means that the Holy Spirit can lift your spirits so that you can overflow with joy and hope. That sounds pretty good to me.
I would invite you this week to let the beauty of Spring remind of you of the joy God wants to give you. Enter into the resurrection of Jesus. Trust Jesus to give you new life. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill your heart and lift your spirits. Delight in the future hope that you have. Delight in the present hope that you have. Joy is possible right now.
May you be filled with joy and hope this week.