Every kingdom will reflect the character of the one who rules over it. The Kingdom of God is no different. When God is in charge, however, there is one characteristic of His reign that you may not find in any other kingdom.
Romans 14:17 gives us a snapshot of what life looks like when God is in charge.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. ESV
I find that joy is better experienced than explained. The English dictionary defines it as the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune. The Greek dictionary defines it simply as gladness of heart. In the Kingdom joy seems to be a heart overflowing as a result of being under the reign of King Jesus, and the rightly ordered, harmonious life it brings.
A Look at the Future
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:1 – 4 NLT
When the Kingdom comes in its fullness, everything that causes loss, pain, sorrow, suffering, depression, and despair will be removed. What are we left with? Joy! Pure, unadulterated, untarnished joy. This is really hard to picture in our present circumstances, but this is what we have to look forward to.
What About Today?
In John 15:11, Jesus tells His disciples that the things He shared would result in His joy being in them and their joy being made full. I wonder what kind of joy the Son of God had when He walked among us? Galatians 5:22 informs us that joy is part of the fruit born by a life lived under the governance of the Holy Spirit. If we don’t find ourselves having a lot of joy, what does that tell us?
This generation need to see the people of God with joy filled lives. Joy should be one of the outstanding characteristics of those living in the Reign.