If we look back at the beginning of this series, we'll remember that it started by talking about the pests which God would send to get Israel's attention: the palmerworm, the locust, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar (Joel 1: 4). We mentioned how, after everything dried up and died, their joy had withered away (Joel 1: 12).
Each week, we've been adding a verse from Joel 2, building to the wonderful promise of restoration found in Joel 2: 25: "And I will restore to you the years that the locust has eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you."
I think that it's interesting that the order of pests is different here than in Joel 1: 4. That is not an inconsistency in the word. It shows the order of departure and the different order of restoration.
When we fall from fellowship with God, often it is the small things that initiate it, the little daily things that take our attention away from Him (palmerworms). Then something overwhelming (swarm of locusts) will come in and knock our feet out from under us. We look to something else to bring relief, often a harmful substance, and our fruitfulness and testimony is marred (cankerworms). Finally, things that appear harmless fill our lives, but there is an absence of the reality of God (caterpillar).
When God restores to us what we've lost, spiritually speaking, He brings the big things first, totally restoring us to full fellowship (what the locusts ate). Then He works on our fruit-bearing and testimony (what the cankerworm ate), restoring our ability to live according to His will. Then He transforms the things that appear nice and good (caterpillars) into that which is truly good—His beauty in us. And, finally, He helps us with all the daily little chores and problems that try to distract us (palmerworms).
The next few verses in Joel 2 list many other blessings to follow, including praise and assurance and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (which happened on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2). These things point to a renewal and restoration of joy. As we saw in part 1, "The joy of the Lord is your strength"—Nehemiah 8: 10.
Jesus came to give joy, among other things. In John 15: 11, He says, "These things have I spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." He repeats that desire for their joy to be full in John 16: 24 and 17: 13.
The apostle John wrote in his first letter, "We write these things to you that your joy may be full"—1 John 1: 4. In the Greek language, the word means "cheerfulness, calm delight." Its root word means "to be cheerful, calmly happy or well-off; to rejoice."
Thus, this is not the giddy high that comes from substance abuse. It is the sense of well-being and peace that comes from the assurance that God is in control and has blessed you abundantly, that He cares for you, and that you are safely in His hands, no matter what may come.
When talking about the fruit of the Spirit, the apostle Paul starts with the trilogy of "love, joy, peace" (Galatians 5: 22). Joy is nestled there in between love and peace.
Peter talks about how the trials perfect us for the "appearing of Jesus Christ, whom, not having seen, you love; in whom, though you have not seen, you believe and rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory"—1 Peter 1: 7, 8. We who live two thousand years after Christ lived can still love Him, believe in Him, and have his joy fulfilled in us.
A Stable and an Empty Tomb
12/24/2019 6:01:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Do Definitions Matter?
12/17/2019 3:08:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Darkness Creeping In
11/26/2019 10:17:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
The Presence and Purpose of Pain and Sorrow
8/31/2019 9:27:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Salt and Light
8/21/2019 8:15:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Real Rainbows and True Light
8/17/2019 3:17:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
The Light of Life
8/7/2019 9:20:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
A Giant Eraser
4/23/2018 3:09:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
He Is Risen
3/30/2018 2:57:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
7/22/2015 by: Vicki Dorshorn
Liberty Bell & more
7/4/2015 3:32:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
6/22/2015 11:26:00 AM by: Vicki Dorshorn
6/12/2015 1:50:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
6/5/2015 12:27:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
5/28/2015 by: Vicki Dorshorn
What is my name?
5/20/2015 by: Vicki Dorshorn
What age is Jesus for you?
12/21/2014 8:41:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Part 2 - Stories of Sovereignty from England
11/21/2014 by: Vicki Dorshorn
Stories of Sovereignty from England
11/15/2014 7:28:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Coincidence or Sovereignty?
11/3/2014 by: Vicki Dorshorn
Time to Care
8/24/2014 10:59:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
"Lion on the Loose"
8/16/2014 5:29:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Lessons from My Garden - Part 6
8/10/2014 by: Vicki Dorshorn
Lessons from My Garden - Part 5
8/3/2014 by: Vicki Dorshorn
Lessons from My Garden - Part 4
7/27/2014 by: Vicki Dorshorn
Lessons from My Garden - Part 3
7/20/2014 3:33:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
"Lessons from My Garden -- Part 2"
7/12/2014 8:54:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Lessons From My Garden - Part 1
7/7/2014 7:23:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Dreams, Revisions, and Renewal
6/29/2014 10:30:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
A Dream that is Reality
6/21/2014 9:13:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
The Return of the Swallows
6/14/2014 by: Vicki Dorshorn
Part 2 - Where will I go when I die?
6/7/2014 2:30:40 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Where will I go when I die?
5/31/2014 9:05:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Truth or Deception
5/24/2014 5:34:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Deliverance from Falling
5/16/2014 2:30:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Deliverance from Tears
5/10/2014 8:03:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Deliverance from Death
5/3/2014 by: Vicki Dorshorn
The Significance of Death
4/27/2014 5:45:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Conclusion of Why Bad Things Happen
4/19/2014 8:35:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Good and Bad, Relatively Speaking
4/12/2014 1:18:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
The Potter and the Clay
4/5/2014 9:10:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
"Bad Things" - Part 5
3/29/2014 1:47:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
"Bad Things" - Part 4
3/21/2014 12:52:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
"Bad Things" - Part 3
3/15/2014 12:18:00 AM by: Vicki Dorshorn
"Bad Things" - Part 2
3/8/2014 1:56:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
"Bad Things" - Part I
3/1/2014 7:14:00 PM by: Vicki Dorshorn
Who are "good" people?
2/26/2014 by: Vicki Dorshorn
Why do bad things happen to good people?
2/22/2014 by: Vicki Dorshorn