I talk a lot about love and joy because to me these are the visible signs of faith. Or they should be. Love isn’t a warm fuzzy feeling it’s an active thing. It should be demonstrated in words and deeds, in the attitudes I display. The same with Joy, my face, my actions, my whole demeanour should radiate these two things. Of course they are the tip of the iceberg; underneath is the huge mass of what makes me a Christian dependant on faith, prayer, the Word, relationship all of which are more internal things. These things are revealed in love and joy and although I say ‘tip of the iceberg’ they are still – or ought to be – pretty huge things.
4 Most of all, friends, always rejoice in the Lord! I never tire of saying it: Rejoice! 5 Keep your gentle nature so that all people will know what it looks like to walk in His footsteps. The Lord is ever present with us.
Joy comes from confidence that God is good – the same confidence that keeps me from sin. It springs up from knowing that all things are in His hands and I can trust Him no matter how I feel or how things around me appear. Joy demonstrates the faith I have in my Father.
There are so many verses about love, about living a life of love, about love in action. Love has to be active because it God is love and He most certainly is active. James says faith without works is dead, useless. Love is faith in action. If I believe what God has said: that He loves me, that He gave His Son for me, that His Salvation is for everyone because He loves them too then how can I do anything other than demonstrate that love?
12 May the Lord flood you with an unending, undying love for one another and for all humanity, like our love for you, 13 so that your hearts will be reinforced with His strength, held blameless and holy before God, our Father, when our Lord Jesus,appears along with all His holy ones.