Stop enduring religion and start enjoying your salvation!
March 25, 2009
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
Being a joyless Christian is an oxymoron. Yet so many Christians today find a way to be one!
And yes, I know there are plenty of reasons not to have joy. Bad things happen. People lose their jobs. People lose their health. People lose loved ones.
And please know that I’m not minimizing these things, because there are things in life that can and should make us feel sad. We wouldn’t be human if we weren’t affected in some way by our circumstances.
But that’s the thing. If you and I base our complete joy and contentment on our circumstances, we’re going to be disappointed and let down most of the time.
That’s why it’s so important that we don’t base our happiness on what’s going on around us. We have to look up to Jesus as our source of joy and strength. We have to! That’s the only way to keep our joy when the smile has left our face.
And not only that, but there’s something irresistible about someone who radiates joy, someone who can feel pain and sadness, but also someone who’s not utterly devastated when bad things happen to them.
So today, I want to give you an assignment, if you will. If you would agree that you’ve let life steal your joy, I want to encourage you to spend some time alone in God’s Word.
And maybe you’d say, “Pastor, I don’t even know where to look in the Bible for encouragement.” Well, start with today’s verse. If nothing else, thank Jesus for the joy that he is and that’s already just waiting to burst forth from inside of you.
Then, echo Nehemiah’s prayer when he said, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” Ask God that you would allow his joy to be your strength and encouragement today—not in how much money you make or what kind of car you drive or what your reputation is or whatever the circumstance is that may be dictating your attitude.
Ask God for his joy to be your strength. And ask him today!
IF YOU BASE YOUR COMPLETE JOY AND CONTENTMENT ON YOUR CIRCUMSTANCES, YOU’RE GOING TO BE LET DOWN MOST OF THE TIME.