The Christian’s joy comes from the fact that we have hope. It’s not hope for this life only; if that were the case, Paul writes that “we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). Rather, it is hope that extends beyond this life into the next. Hope that we will see Jesus face-to-face, that we will spend eternity basking in the glory of our Creator, enjoying intimate fellowship with Him. Our hope is in our inheritance – we get God Himself. And so because we have hope, we can have joy.
I love this declaration of hope in Lamentations 3:21-26, and today it is my prayer:
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”
The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.