Sharing Joy

“The angel said, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary,.. behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High…—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son,.. her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.’ And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.’

Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?.. Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.’ And Mary said,

‘My soul magnifies the Lord,
     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior…
He who is mighty has done great things for me,
    holy is his name.’
Luke 1:30-32,35-43,45-47,49

“Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together!” Psalm 34:3

Mary couldn’t wait to share her wondrous news with her cousin Elizabeth. God pulls back the curtain for us to observe and marvel at the angelic announcement of Jesus and the shared excitement of these two women, and invites us to be a part. Their mutual encouragement and gladness bubbles in the passage as it did in that room, and our souls are swept into their joy, caught up with theirs to magnify God’s name and goodness. This intimate picture models how we can engender praise among friends in our lives.

The by-products of sharing joy are heightened awareness of how and when God is working, growth in expectancy of more wondrous deeds, and increased, contagious glory given the King. Our joyful attitude breeds delight in those around us, our language of praise becomes another’s song, all fragrant incense that pleases the Lord. (Psalm 141:2; Luke 1:67-79)

When we experience a deep connection with God, a personal grace beyond imagining, a gift from the Lord’s hand that humbles, stupefies, and delights, are we eager to proclaim His goodness? Is our gratitude so great we cannot keep it to ourselves? With whom do we regularly recount God’s kind deeds and revealed truth?

Whose faith and worship can we encourage by sharing what God has done and is doing? How might we develop someone’s expectancy, or offer hope and comfort, by telling of God’s personal hand in our own longing or need?

Do we regularly come alongside to share others’ joy? When friends open their treasure of good news, do we value it as such, or flirt with jealousy or competition and diminish their experience by adorning it with “me too,” turning attention to ourselves? Will we genuinely rejoice with them, taking in their full report and adding nothing but praise to God? (Romans 12:15)

Lord, may I always sweeten fellowship by rejoicing with those who rejoice and eagerly telling of Your delights. Prompt me to keep sharing Your glorious promises and deeds so Your glory is multiplied among Your people.

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