Are you feeling joyful at this moment? You may feel like there is not much to be joyful about in today’s world. So much that we hear or read about in the news today is frightening: war, inflation, viruses, the border, post COVID-19 pandemic challenges, gasoline prices, food prices, crime, attacks on police officers, racism, gender identification, government corruption, and many other issues in today’s culture.
Even though we live in a fallen world today and have to face an occasional challenge, we still have much to be joyful about. But where do we find joy? We find it from the assurance that our faith, which comes from our Creator’s grace, is the hope that we can look forward to a better life. This is the gift of peace that we can pay forward brought about by the freedom we enjoy from our salvation. A freedom that insulates us from the daily cares others must face.
God loves all whom He has created, both believers and non-believers, for they all share in one condition: a sinful nature. Being of a sinful nature gives those who believe the opportunity to minister to all. None of us is immune to occasional sadness, failure, injury, sickness, persecution, separation, loneliness, and despair. We all need from time to time someone who can help us overcome our unhappy condition for a more joyful condition. God actively works in all lives, offering the opportunity to restore one another. Here is the moment when both can experience peace when bringing joy back into another’s life. There is nothing more pleasing to God.
Scripture teaches us that when we seek God, God will find us. There are many opportunities to bring joy into another’s life. Sometimes it is as easy as greeting someone with a smile and receiving one in return. Other times God gives us a chance to offer encouragement to another who is struggling with a problem, a decision, an illness, a loss, fatigue, a misunderstanding, or rejection. God trains our hearts and minds through Bible study to be aware so that we can offer something as simple as a hug that brings comfort. It may require that one must sacrifice one’s time, comfort, or treasure to restore the person in need. I believe that these humble attributes are very present in our congregation. This is where I believe “JOY” is alive. It works both for the giver as well as for the receiver.
“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” Isaiah 12:3
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