“…And gladness for the upright in heart” (Psalm 97:11)

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We all look forward to meet the Lord soon. 

We all want to be among the five wise virgins. 

We all expect to hear the words of the Lord: “…the good and faithful servant … come to the joy of your Lord.” 

Question: are we ready to see Him face to face right now? 

Do we live today in full transparency before Him? Honest and upright with Him? 

Do we bring to Him all our weaknesses, and our failures, and seek His help? Do we bring before him our sins and confess them?

We must learn from King David who prayed and asked God: “Who can understand his errors? Cleanse me from secret faults” (Psalm 19:12). David was a humble man and was not afraid to open his heart before God. He understood the connection between the state of his heart towards God and his joy. He prayed: “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, that the bones You have broken may rejoice” (Psalm 51:7-8). God always answers such prayers. He wants us to stand before Him clean and ready, to worship Him in awe and joy, until the day we will meet Him. “Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling” (Psalm 2:11). When we stand exposed to the light of the Lord, who discovers every stain and wrinkle in our lives, He fills us with joy. “Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart” (Psalm 97:11). Joy comes from freedom and liberation in Him.

Upright people are those who want to be cleansed of hidden things in their hearts and stand before Him free and liberated. They want God to examine their heart all the time, as David prayed: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties” (Psalm 139:23). David was a man after God’s heart (Acts 13:22).

Upright people are those who do not hide anything from Him and others, they understand that He sees and knows everything in their lives, they bring to light anything that might stand between them and Him. These people have confidence in God. “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God” (1 John 3:21).

Upright people are not afraid to tell the truth, even if they would be persecuted and rejected, because they know God is using them as His mouth, they are tools in His hands. They stand firm by faith in the trials they go through, because they trust Him. 

Through trials God tests our faith. He wants us to be whole and innocent before Him, He wants to teach us patience in troubles, because we know our destiny in life. “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing (James 1:2-4). God gives us joy in the midst of suffering as we follow Messiah.

Peter in his epistle guides us: “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer (“Whoever hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him” – 1 John 3:15), a thief, an evildoer, or as a busybody in other people’s matters (as entering into a realm that is not his). Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in this matter” (1 Peter 4:12-16).

The word of God tells us that if we will suffer as Christians, we will thank God, because then we follow our Lord Yeshua, who was persecuted and rejected, because He declared the truth, which the people around Him did not want to hear. 

We must continue the mission that the Lord has left us, stand for the truth of His word and not compromise, stand firm in faith despite the difficulty and suffering that will come upon us from those who will persecute and reject us. So we have a share in the ‘torture of Massiah’.    

Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake.
Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets” (Luke 6:22-23). In these times of persecutions, the Lord will give us strength to stand bravery against the attacks and will fill us with His peace and joy. “Rejoice in the Lord always (also during hard times). Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand” (Phil. 4:4-5).

Our great joy is, in the hope that we have, in the promise of the Lord, that we will reach the most wonderful place. “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant…”             (Heb. 12:22-24). Hallelujah!

And until that time comes, we must stand in Him and prepare for the great day, for the day when we will see the Lord face to face. “And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28).

Yes, it is a great privilege to be sons of God, in joyful times and in hard times. “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:2-3).   Amen!