“Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints” (Philemon 7).
When we were born again, God didn’t leave us here to live as we please, to do our own thing, or to seclude ourselves from those around us.
Nor did He leave us here to be so busy serving our own family that we miss the cohesiveness of being with and encouraging other adults—stirring up one another “toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Catalysts are people whose words and enthusiasm cause others to be more enthusiastic and energetic. We can be catalysts of joy for one another! God wants our enthusiasm to energize and bring joy to each one He puts in our path.
Paul wished to be with the believers in Rome that he might come to them with joy and be refreshed by their company (Romans 15:30-32). He was full of joy for their obedience (Romans 16:19). His desire when he arrived at Corinth was that all would share his joy (2 Corinthians 2:3).
In spite of all his troubles, he told them that he was encouraged and overjoyed with them (2 Corinthians 7:4). “But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, and not only by his coming but also by the comfort you had given him. He told us about your longing for me, your deep sorrow, your ardent concern for me, so that my joy was greater than ever” (v. 6-7).
He expressed his desire to remain with the Philippian believers for their “progress and joy in the faith” so that through his being with them again their “joy in Christ Jesus will overflow” (Philippians 1:25-26)—even calling these brothers, whom he loved and longed for his “joy and crown” (4:1).
The body of Christ comes in different colors, shapes and sizes—even different denominations. When we reach out and take risks, they will become our joy and add joy to the body of Christ! Joy is the result of relating to God’s people God’s way!
Just as a waiter watches to see when he can be of service while we are eating, then meets those needs with a willing heart, we can be aware of serving and meeting the needs of others. Therefore, the best kind of “waiting” comes from bringing joy to the One who loves us by being a “good Samaritan” to those around us (Luke 10:29-31). How is God asking you to “wait” on others for Him today?
The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows, The more that I love Him, more love He bestows;
Each day is like heaven, my heart overflows, The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows.
–William J. Gaither