We can only realize that we are saved and feel the joy salvation brings when we share salvation so that other lives may also be transformed.
The joy of salvation is a personal experience that can only be tasted by those who choose Christ as their Lord and Savior and begin a battle against “self.”
I. TASTING THE JOY OF SALVATION
Read 2 Kings 5:1-3. This account calls our attention to four people:
1. Naaman was a powerful and important man who had everything and nothing. He had everything because he was a great man before the king, but he had nothing because he was a leper. He had everything because he had many worldly possessions, but he had nothing because he didn’t have God. He didn’t know God. He hadn’t tasted the joy of salvation. When people looked at Naaman, they felt bad because they saw only his leprosy and suffering.
2. The servant girl. She was just a slave, far from her homeland. She didn’t have any material possessions, but she had everything because she had in her heart the Savior, the true God. When people looked at her, they could see peace and hope in her countenance, her life, and her words.
3. The king of Israel (2 Kings 5:6, 7). Here is someone who had everything and had nothing; even as the leader of God’s people, he didn’t trust God. He had the knowledge of God’s power but didn’t trust enough in the wonderful God who brings the joy of salvation.
4. God’s prophet (2 Kings 5:8). Elisha, God’s prophet, was someone who was constantly with God, someone who belonged to God, and someone who could feel and share the joy of salvation.
II. SHARING THE JOY OF SALVATION
1. The servant girl. In this account, the servant girl lived the joy of salvation, was a blessing to the needy, and took salvation to the sinner. A person does not have to be an adult or be in favorable or advantageous conditions to share the joy of salvation. Everything was going wrong for the servant girl, but God’s presence in her life was something that could not be hidden. Ellen G. White says, “Those who give their lives to Christlike ministry know the meaning of true happiness. Their interests and their prayers reach far beyond self. They themselves are growing as they try to help others” (Ellen G. White, Christian Service, 269).
This thought from the Spirit of Prophecy synthesizes the joy of salvation, the wonderful experience lived by the servant girl. As she observed Naaman’s suffering, she felt compassion and revealed to him the wonderful power that could save and transform him.
Naaman was able to taste the joy of salvation; he got to know the wonderful power of a God who transforms completely:
• His flesh was restored (2 Kings 5:14).
• “Now I know” (2 Kings 5:15). Naaman felt the joy of knowing God; he felt God’s power in his own flesh.
There are many spiritual lepers around us, slaves of sin and sufferers who are eager to know God and who are willing to pay any price for peace, relief from pain, and the joy of salvation.
2. The king of Israel. In this account, we find a king who did not know the power of God. Many of us in the church today do not have the assurance of salvation. We are in the church, but we have not tasted the joy of salvation. We are in the church, but we do not know the wonderful love of Jesus.
If you have not yet tasted the joy of salvation, please wake up to the spiritual beauty of salvation offered by Jesus! There is no time for discouragement or selfishness; it’s time to live an intense relationship with Christ.
The fearful attitude of Israel’s king is a warning for us to wake up and seek the knowledge of God for salvation.
3. God’s prophet. In this account we see that Elisha, a man of God and the instrument of salvation in Naaman’s life, rejected any kind of payment or gift. He was demonstrating the gracious way God saves. He was showing what the joy of salvation does to the transformed sinner, giving everything without taking anything.
Taste today the joy of salvation. If you feel like the servant girl, a slave in a strange world who was surrounded by impure people in a secular society, shine! Witness for Jesus! Tell others that there is a power above all powers. Tell them that there is a power that restores and brings joy. Taste today the joy of being saved and restored by Jesus.
If you feel burdened by sin, if you feel humiliated and overcome by sin, problems, and uncertainties, remember Jesus, the Water of Life, who cures and restores.
Taste today the joy of salvation. If you are in church but don’t feel you are a witness to the power of Jesus, if you still have not surrendered yourself to the Master’s service, today is the day! Now is the time to change! God is calling you to be an instrument of salvation. It’s time to taste the greatest joy—the joy of salvation!
Ramildo Bezerra is a pastor in Brazil.