This week Pastor Carl talked about the radical notion that God desires people to live a life of joy. Teaching from Hebrews 12:1-2 we learned that there is a joy that God provides that empowers us for every situation in life. Our joy begins with how God loves his good creation, and it ends with humanity being redeemed and seeing the face of God. We live our lives in the middle of these two realities. We were created in God’s image as objects for his love, and one day we will see him face to face and enjoy his glory. Between those two realities we live lives that line up with those two way points.
Happiness may be based on a feeling, but joy is 1/3 of the Kingdom. The Father, Son, and Spirit interact joyfully, and the overflow is creation. In the Westminster shorter catechism, they state in physically, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.”
To live a life of joy we must connect to God’s wellspring of joy. Paul was able to do this while he was imprisoned yet still writing to the church in Philippi to rejoice always and to not be anxious for anything.
Throughout Scripture, we are taught time and again that God is to be our source of life including joy. Jesus used the illustration of a vine and branches stating that he is the life giving vine and all we are are branches bearing fruit. Branches that don’t bear fruit are cut off. But Jesus said that he spoke these things so that his joy may be in us and that our joy may be made full (John 15:11).
When we focus on what Jesus has done for us and the glory that is waiting for us we are able to share that joy with the world. Being joyful in South Florida is countercultural missional work. Choosing a life of peace, joy, and thankfulness will change the trajectory of our families and our friends.
This week, set aside time to do as our church mothers and fathers did, and meditate on God’s creation, his joy, his peace, and see yourself in the midst of it.
Choose a stressful situation that may not be going the way you want. Make a decision that you are going to tap into God’s wellspring of joy in the midst of that situation.
Thank God for everything he’s going to do in your life through the trial you’re currently going through.