Stone Kingsley - Email forwarded by Max Goldsack - May 3, 2020

To Western Australian workers, and friends,

Even though we cannot have special meetings this year, our thoughts turn to special meetings and the privileges associated with such gatherings. Wishing you all good days and encouraging times as you draw, with joy from the wells of salvation.

As ever in Him,

Max

 

II Corinthians 1:24, “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy for by faith you stand.”

 

“We are helpers of your joy.” The apostle Paul’s great desire for these people was that they may enter more fully into the joy of the Lord. That they would live in such a way that God could give them greater joy than they had ever experienced in the past. Sometimes, we allow our present situation (whatever that may be) to rob us of the joy God has intended us to have. Because of the coronavirus crisis and the liberties that have been taken from us and the limitations that have been taken from us, we may feel that our joy will be greatly hindered and reduced, etc. However that need not happen, as Habakkuk the prophet says in chapter 3:17-18. Habakkuk was saying that in spite of us losing so much and every earthly possession failing, it would not effect our joy in the Lord. “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” I was thinking of ways in which we, as the ministry, could be helpers of your joy.

 

When Moses and the whole house of Israel left Egypt and turned their back in rejection on all the failure and disappointments they had endured in Egypt, they experienced separation. Passing through the waters of the Red Sea and journeying three days into the wilderness, Moses did not burst into tears but rather he burst into one of the most beautiful songs held on record in the Bible, Exodus 15:1-19. That helps us to understand that joy and separation go hand in hand together. The happiest people in all the earth are God's separated people.

 

In the days of the Judges, Israel had endured twenty years of bondage under Jabin, king of Canaan. God raised up a mighty military general, Barak, and a godly prophetess, Deborah. A battle was fought and victory was won. That victory prompted Deborah to sing another of the Bible's most beautiful songs. This helps us to appreciate that victory and joy go hand in hand together, they cannot be separated. We are all involved in a spiritual warfare and all too often, the outcome is punctuated with defeat. However, the victories the Lord shares with us thrill our soul and give us great joy. General MacArthur is reputed to have said, “There is no substitute for victory and compromise is not the answer!”

 

We sometimes struggle to get into the presence of God but when we do get near Him and still closer to Him and finally right into His presence, then we experience great joy, as Psalm 16:11. describes, “In His presence is fullness of joy, etc.” All too often, I give up before getting into God's presence, but to have the patience to wait until I feel His presence near, the reward is great. Getting into God's presence is a Heaven on earth experience.

 

Israel had lived about 16+ years without the Passover feast being celebrated. In fact for that period of time, perhaps no sacrifice had been offered to God. The kingdom of Israel was in very poor state, spiritually speaking. Then Hezekiah began to reign aged 25. He made some remarkable reforms and he re-instituted the Passover feast as recorded in II Chronicles 29:27, “When the burnt offering began, the song of the Lord began.” This helps us to understand that joy and sacrifice go hand in hand together, they cannot be disassociated. This was so true in Hannah’s experience. When she gave her son, Samuel, back to the Lord in sacrifice, she didn’t burst into tears but rather she burst into song. She proved that joy and sacrifice go together. We often associate sacrifice with loss but we should encourage ourselves to see it as great gain. This is the attitude Paul encouraged Timothy to have in II Timothy 1:12. One of the gains we share in by sacrificing is joy!

 

When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, his message produced some human emotions, fear, doubt, etc. Mary said, “How shall this be?” In spite of Mary not understanding all these things, she presented the spirit of submission. That attitude of submission brought her great joy, a joy that was so great that it caused her to open her mouth and sing a most beautiful song, Luke 1:46-55. Mary proved that joy and submission go hand in hand together. We sometimes find it difficult to submit to the Lord and His will for our lives. We are often hesitant, even reluctant and sometimes, unwilling to submit. However, we have all proved the joy that comes when we submit even when we don’t understand the situation and like Mary, we say, “Be it unto me according to Thy word.”

 

Jesus repeatedly spoke about fruitfulness. When a seed falls into the ground and dies, it brings forth much fruit, "Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit, etc." After Jesus spoke the parable of the True Vine, He said, "I am the vine." God is the husbandman and we have the privilege of being the branches, branches upon which fruit can be produced. Jesus brought His discourse to a close in John 15:11, “These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full.” Jesus knew above and beyond all else that joy and fruitfulness go hand in hand together. When we are producing the fruit of the spirit, we are not only experiencing joy but we are also glorifying God or in other words, we are filling the heart of God with joy, also.

 

Asking in Jesus' Name produces wonderful results. When we ask in Jesus' Name, we not only receive what we ask for but we also experience great joy, as Jesus stated in John 16:23=24. “Ask and he shall receive, that your joy may be full." Where on this earth would you find a double benefit of such lasting nature as this? Joy and asking and receiving go hand in hand together.

 

These are just some ways that we would encourage you in, as helpers of your joy. But as the ministry can help God's people to experience great joy, so God's people can help the ministry experience great joy. I Thessalonians 3:9, “How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of God because of you?”

 

While the ministry can help God's people obtain joy, on the other hand, God's people can contribute to the joy the ministry can enter into. I Thessalonians 3:9.