Joy Just For The Moment
by Angie Ketcham
Many times in the New Testament Apostle Paul spoke of his trials and tribulations. Even so, he reminded us that, even in such circumstances, he was content. What was it that made him able to be content during the worst circumstances? What could move him to sing praises in a jail cell? Was he just that strong willed? Was it just the ultimate power of thinking? No, it could have only been one thing and one thing alone: his strength from having the joy of the Lord. The joy of the Lord isn’t just available so we can be happy, it’s to give us strength to endure the difficult seasons of our lives. And really not just endure, but to have the ability to be joyful despite whatever trial we might be facing.
The joy of the Lord is the everlasting hope that we have in Jesus. Jesus came to this earth on a mission to give us that hope. When He ascended into heaven, He left us with a promise that He would send a comforter for those moments when life got hard and we would be weak. He gives us strength, through our knowledge that this life is temporary and there is something beyond this life waiting for us. We can have hope knowing that we don’t even have to wait for that day when we die, but that we can have hope now knowing that He lives with us and inside of us and walks with us even now!
Sometimes we can find joy in the most unforeseen places. Sometimes we have to search for joy, as not all situations look like joy on the surface. When the women in Matthew 28:8 went to grieve the death of Jesus, they discovered an empty tomb and went away filled with joy. The circumstances surrounding the natural world looked down and dismal, but they were right in the midst of one of the greatest miracles of all time taking place! Jesus was alive! He had defeated death and there was reason to rejoice!
Sometimes our lives get so busy that we neglect to spend time in the Word, letting it remind us of the blessed hope that gives us renewed joy. Perhaps we get caught up in the emotions that overwhelm us as women, looking at our present circumstances instead of looking for the joy that has already been given to us. We allow stress and fear to take the wheel, even though we know better. The Word reminds us that “The Joy of the Lord is our strength”. This doesn’t just mean in the easy times. This is at all times. Joy is not just a feeling that we feel, but a commandment of a way of life. It is our responsibility as a follower of Christ to cast out those thoughts that do not bring life and replace it with God’s Word. He promises to meet us, even in those times that seems like we are alone. When we give our burdens over to Him, we too, can sing praises in “our jail cell”. I’m currently typing this with a baby in one hand, that just threw up a large portion of formula all over my clothes and down onto the floor. So, even in this I shall find joy, thank God for the chance to serve others, and go get on fresh clothes ;)