The Overcomer Trust

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By Michael Barton 

“But about the Son He says, ‘Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever; a sceptre of justice will be the sceptre of Your kingdom.  You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, Your God, has set You above Your companions by anointing You with the oil of joy’”  (Hebrews 1 v8-9).

All of humanity has a deep hunger for joy.  This hunger has motivated humankind to constantly search for anything that may satisfy that craving.  The quest for joy has taken many into terrible depths of sin.  Joy is often understood only within the realms of the human self, as if to become totally lost in self-satisfaction is to experience “joy”.  Anyone who walks on this path walks into deeper hunger, frustration and despair.  True joy is found only in the Person of the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.  Only in an intimate relationship with Jesus, the true source of joy, can this deep hunger find its fulfilment.

Jesus described that relationship in this way, “if you keep My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commands and remain in His love.  I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15 v10-11).

Jesus makes it very clear that it is through obedience to His commands and by abiding in Him that we remain in His love.  It is through remaining in His love that His joy may be in us, and that by this our joy may be complete and perfected into eternity with the Son.

Joy in intimate union with Christ.

Most people look to external things to provide them with joy.  In the Old Testament, with its emphasis on the physical world, joy is mostly shown in the rejoicing of exuberant shouts of praise to God by the gathered community in response to His tangible and intangible blessings.  

This was usually expressed during important feasting or worship times.  Much of the Church today seeks joy through this experience, which is a beautiful experience of worship to our awesome God.  The corporate and individual expression of worship and praise is essential to a healthy spiritual maturity.  But our joy is not only to be found in our expression of praise and worship to God.  Our ultimate joy is to be found in the union of a personal relationship with the Person of our Saviour Jesus Christ.  

The joy that is found in the Son is not dependant on God’s goodness to us.  It never fades, whether during times of blessing, discipline or persecution.  Jesus our Saviour is Priest and King, He is also our appointed Judge in whose loving hands we joyfully put our eternal trust.  He endured separation from the Father, gave His body and shed His blood for us.  This should determine that His judgement is truly “Good News” to all who have become a follower and worshipper in Spirit and truth.  He is our refuge, our strong tower, our salvation and our rock.  In Him we can truly put our trust.

The joy of His anointing.

It is Christ who was anointed as Priest and King with the “oil of joy”.  If we seek this anointing, then we must seek Christ the anointed.  It is His anointing and will only flow on us through our abiding in Him.  Being in meetings in His name is not sufficient.  Our lives must be completely lost in Him, “I no longer live, but Christ lives in me”.

The word “joy” in Hebrews 1 verse 9 is translated from a Greek word which speaks of “exultation" in the sense of a welcome with gladness and much joy.  It speaks of Jesus, the Loving Son, who was welcomed, raised up, exalted and filled with the joy that filled the Father’s heart.  This is a great anointing.

It is not just a one-time anointing to the office of King and Priest.  This anointing is a constant flow, like the oil in the cups of the lampstand in Zechariah 4.  It is upon Jesus Christ like the oil on the head of Aaron that flowed down his beard onto his robes.  It is only in our connection with the Head that the flow may come upon us.  It is through the flow of the oil from the Holy Spirit of the Lord that we may experience His anointing, His joy.

Eternal springs of joy.

“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.’

‘Sir,’ the woman said, ‘You have nothing to draw with and the well is deep.  Where can You get this living water?  Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?’

Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.’

The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water’” (John 4 v10-15).

Jesus went on to declare, “believe Me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.  You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.  Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.  God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” (John 4 v 21-24).

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians v16-18).

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“Some people are afraid of anything like joy in Christianity.  They have none themselves, and they do not like to see it in others.  Their religion is quite cold and when they see tears of anxiety, or tears of joy, they complain.  Well, ’I delight to sit in His shade’ (Song of Solomons 2 v3).   Lord, give us this enthusiasm forever.  May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him.  If our joy is really sitting under the shadow of Christ then may there be no end to your joy.  May God open your eyes, and give you childlike faith to look to Jesus and to sit under His shadow, then songs of joy will rise from all our homes.  Rejoice in the Lord always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!”

Robert Murray McCheyne

“Those the Lord has rescued will return.  They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads.  Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away” (Isaiah 51 v11)

“Until now you have not asked for anything in My name.  Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16 v24)

The Lord Jesus Christ