“Now this is what the Lord says, the One who created you, Jacob, and the One who formed you Israel. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1 CSB
The words “you are mine” at the end of this verse makes my heart soar. I am His, the Creator of the World, I am His. And so are you when you place your faith in Jesus. You are His, and He is yours. When we fully comprehend what that statement means, we really will not have any fear. We will have only joy. I have recently met Audrey Wetherell Johnson, a missionary from England that inadvertently started one of the largest non-denominational Bible studies in the world. She passed away in 1984 but I’m reading her autobiography. I’m sure you’ll be getting to know her as I do. Shortly after her conversion to following Jesus, she talks about her surprise at life in Christ. She says:
“I knew it would be right; I knew it would be safe; I knew He would be faithful. His grace was sufficient for all sense of inferiority and any other lack, but I never realized how joyous it would be.”
Audrey spent three years of her life in a Chinese internment camp, yet she calls life with Christ joyous. She understood what it meant to be His. C.S. Lewis says the same thing, “But I never expected to experience the joy that has come with commitment.” I have been surprised by the joy in my life from following Jesus.
Joy is found in overcoming our fears, forgiving our enemies, doing the next right thing. Joy is found one step at a time as we follow God on the path He leads us. Joy is found when we trust God completely. And as C.S. Lewis says, when we commit. Joy is found in committing our lives to God, one day at a time. Each morning we have the choice, we can follow God, or we can follow the world. Inch by inch, life is a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard.
I was joyous when I made the decision to no longer engage in pre-marital sex. I decided to do things God’s way, because my way was not working. The first gentleman I met in church and started dating taught me a lesson. I assumed because we had met in church He would share my beliefs about sex. I was naive. When he finally realized I meant what I said, he informed me that all of these other women were sleeping with him, he could not understand why I would not. Because I chose Jesus over him, that’s why not. And I was joyous, because for the first time in my life, I didn’t make the same mistake I had made before. I was joyous. But first I had to trust and believe that I was His. In Him I found joy, and so can you. You are His