The Lasting Impression
More than likely, you have heard this intriguing statement: “first impressions are sometimes lasting impressions”. When it comes to meeting up with a joyful follower of the Lord, then and there an impression is made, a lasting one. True, we all have our “up and down” days, but the truth of the matter regarding the joy of the Lord is that God’s heaven sent gladness is not contingent on any outward circumstances working on you. The reason, there is an inward working of God that is predominant in the soul of that “joyful on purpose” man of God. There is something eternal going on in that life lived for the Lord. Scripture tells us so: “Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound, they shall walk, O LORD in the light of thy countenance” (Psalm 89:15). The one beholding the Lord’s countenance is the one displaying the same, totally different from a self-styled, joyless carnal Christian. The reason is found in their reception to the joyful sound, and what they hear sets the cadence for their walk “in the light of thy countenance.” Many are the challenges that come before us and then in us, intending to rob us of our joy, and then take aim in diminishing the joy of others. The ploy of the enemy in joy-robbing is certainly not an edifying tool for the spiritual habitation of God’s fellowship. Rather, here’s the wisdom of joy-keeping and joy-spreading, and it is available; it comes from the Psalmist: “I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved” (16:8). That certainly is an encouragement from the Biblical joy department indeed. You see, what we are facing in life is not as powerful as WHO we need to be facing. With the setting of the Lord’s powerful presence before us, that arrival of his joyful countenance brings the dismissal of the soul’s adversary that had its intent on portraying a “not so joyful face.” With the face of our soul beholding him, and the Lord’s face set before us, there is only one conclusion: “Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth” (v. 9). We don’t have to allow the woes of this world to place a deformed, dismal, and discouraging face on our Christianity, especially when we are privileged to “walk in the light of THY countenance” (Psalm 89:15). Question: “Where are we walking?” The answer is found in who or what we are are allowing to come before us and remain there, facing us. We walk with who or what we ultimately decide to be at face with us. Remember: Joy in life is all about a “face-walk” with the Lord. Allow his face to confront your challenges first. There is life-giving, joyful wisdom in that spiritual exercise: “Thou will shew me the path of life, in thy presence is the fullness of joy” (Psalm 16:11). So, the Lord desires to “shew us” the path that offers a life of joy. Before any challenges of life come to you, go to HIM first, face him first, look to him first, he will “shew” you first, and then bring in the his joy first to shine on your countenance. Oh, dear child of God, his joy makes the difference, and can make the difference in a life struggling with conflict within and without, so be diligent to project that countenance in its shine on others. Oh, that shine will come to you because it comes first from the joyful sound that the Lord has been sending all along to the one walking in a listening-step with him. Imagine that needed impression that can be made on others when God’s sounding joy has first been heard by you, enabling you to face him with joy, seeing his joyful face, and then the shine of his countenance did made a miraculous LASTING impression - yes, first on you. Here’s the follow-through, you are now so joyful with the newly found “light of thy countenance” that you will not keep it to yourself,, you just have to shine his countenance on others, making a LASTING IMPRESSION on those who need HIS JOY, living in this woeful world. Remember, there can always be a joyful countenance in every relationship: make it yours, THE LASTING IMPRESSION.