“The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy” (Psalm 126:3). Anyone who has a true, life-giving relationship with Jesus knows the truth of that statement. The entire Lenten season is recognition of the ultimate greatness of the gift of Jesus. He willingly left the privileges and position of heaven, and came to earth to be the prefect sacrifice. He paid the debt of our sins through His death, then rose from the dead with all of the power we could ever need in His hands. Jesus empowers us daily in every situation we face, provides all we need—and then we get heaven forever when this life is done. The Lord has done great things for us indeed!
Because of those great things Jesus has done and is doing for us, joy is our inheritance. Sometimes we lose that part of the Lenten season. True, Lent is a time to reflect on the suffering of Jesus Christ for us and to seriously appreciate His sacrifice. It’s a time to reflect on our own lives. It is a chance to look back and then forward, taking into account the sacrifices Jesus Christ made for us, and the gift God gave us with the life of His Son. As we walk through this holy season, there are moments of grief over our sins, moments of wonder that He loves us so much, and they both should lead to tremendous joy.
Perhaps you have given up something for Lent. That’s a good thing. Giving up something you enjoy or treasure is a fitting remembrance, a good way to remember His sacrifice for you. But remembering what Jesus has done shouldn’t be all somber and quiet. He went through all He did and gave all He gave in order to give us “life to the full” (John 10:10). He said “I want my joy to be in you, so that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11). Nothing will honor Him more this Lenten season than our realization that He has done such great things for us that we can’t help but explode with joy in a world sadly devoid of joy too much of the time.
Here’s a Lent opportunity for you. This week, every single day consider the verse above and think of one great personal result of what Jesus Christ has done for you through your salvation. Perhaps it is peace of mind. Maybe before Jesus your mind was chaotic and worried most of the time. Jesus has changed that. Let your heart fill up with joy, and then overflow! Every day for the next seven days as you identify a “great thing” Jesus has done for you, share your joy with someone. Your witness will either spark curiosity or joy in them. That puts the “celebration” in Lent.