The Greatest Joy is Jesus

11 December 2023 by Wes Bredenhof

In this world where we have so much sorrow, there will always be many reasons to pray.  In the light of that, one thing we ought to pray for regularly is the return of our Lord Jesus.  That is when the mourning of all God’s people in this age will be turned to dancing in the next.  The return of Christ is when we’ll dance for joy.  I mean that quite literally.  That’s because the return of Christ brings about the resurrection of the dead.  Our bodies will be raised imperishable.  In that final state, we’ll have corporeal bodies with which to dance for joy.  In the intermediate state in heaven, we’ll exist as disembodied souls.  A soul without a body can’t dance.  At the resurrection, however, we get our glorified, physical human bodies.  With these, we’ll dance like never before.

The greatest thing we’ll be dancing for is the glorious sight of our Saviour Jesus.  We will then see him with our own physical eyes.  There are many good things about the new creation.  Not having chronic pain every night, not having problems with your kids, not having to struggle with sin, not having to say good-bye to a dying spouse, no more death, no more tears, no more sorrow.  These are all great things to look forward to.  But we should always remember that the greatest thing about the new creation is Jesus.  The greatest thing about the final state is seeing him and being with him. 

Christ’s return isn’t just a means to an end.  What I mean is that we don’t just look forward to him coming back so all these other good things can come to us.  Rather, we look forward to his return especially for him.  If Jesus is only a means to an end for us, we’re not really worshipping him, but those ends that he delivers to us.  One of the Puritans, Thomas Brooks, put it this way:  “Many seek Christ, but it is more for loaves than for love.”  That’s a reference to Christ feeding the crowds with the loaves and the fish.  They were happy to have him as their miracle baker, but didn’t want him as their Saviour and Lord.  Similarly, you could be seeking Christ’s return, but more for the absence of every earthly sorrow than for the love of being with him.  So when we pray for Christ’s return, we could put it something like this:  “Maranatha, come Lord Jesus, come quickly.  I look forward to seeing you with my own eyes and being with you forever.  You will be my joy on that day.” 

And indeed, the joy that we’re going to have at his Second Coming will be a permanent joy.  No one will ever be able to take it from us.  Joys in this world are fleeting.  They come and go.  But the joy we’ll experience when we see Christ with our own eyes, that’ll be forever.  It will be joy unimaginable.  Take the greatest joy you’ve ever known on this earth and multiply it by a billion and you still won’t be at the joy Christians will feel when they see Jesus at his Second Coming.

For a Christian, the great Day of the Lord is something to be anticipated eagerly.  The greatest reason for that is the person of our beloved Saviour himself.  I can’t wait to see him.  How about you?