Why does this world have so many joy suckers? Where are the Reasons for Joy? Politics, economics, race, preference, choice, how do we look for joy in the process of working through life. Everywhere you turn there is bad news, fake news, angry rants and sarcasm. Some fired up, most are bored. People retreat into the comfort of virtual relationships and onscreen dreams. I was invited the other day to the inauguration of Donald Trump. I was amazed. I received a personal invitation from the President Elect. Of course, it was on Facebook and there were 200 million other invitees. At first, I was very much bigly impressed and then, I was a little scared. I read a few comments and I did not see much joy jumping off the comments column; People blaming the right. People blaming the left, blaming the conservatives, blaming the liberals, blaming those sitting on the fence, blaming, ranting, sarcastic, contradicting, graceless. Ouch, where is the joy. Joy, that’s right Joy! Capital J-O-Y Joy!!! The purpose of this blog will be to look for “Reasons for Joy” in all the circumstances of life. I feel God has been nudging me for quite some time to talk, to write and to share what he has been laying on my heart about who He is. This might be for your benefit, but I really believe He wants to work some good stuff in me. I want to feel the Joy that comes from being in His presence. Will you join me? Can we explore Reasons for Joy together?
Paul in his letter to the Philippians says, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! I know! Those words are awesome. They bring a tear to my eye and then I just want to say but Paul, what the heck are you talking about. Paul, but… but…but, but what about??? What about my … circumstances? Are my circumstances unknown to God? Are they worse than Paul’s? Imprisoned, whipped, left for dead, familiar with plenty and familiar with nothing. I have a pretty good life from a worldly standpoint and yet I still feel anxious and a little bored. I want Paul’s joy! What was his secret for joy that I am missing?
I think Paul is asking me to look into the eyes of the one who made me. This God who made a trillion galaxies, and each with galaxy overflowing with billions of stars thinks I am priceless. Even though I feel tiny, insignificant and unimportant; He offers to call me son. I long with my whole heart to live forever, to join my family, my wife, my children and this God invite me to His house, His home and His land forever. That is a reason for Joy. No circumstance on earth can bring down that celebration. I just forget where God says my real home is. The coolest news of all is the way God seals the deal. Jesus, God in flesh and bone loved me so much that He came to show the ultimate picture of pure Love. Jesus submits Himself to our cruel treatment to demonstrate the infinite depth of THE MOST PERFECT LOVE. Jesus submits to our rejection, our sin to show just how unbelievably far He is willing to go to save us. That cross, that terrible instrument of destruction, became the demonstration of Love being perfected in action. It is Love! It is who God is! The eternal God loves you and wants you to celebrate in His love forever. His one condition. Admit that you need God, you can’t save yourself. Accept, live in and act upon His love for you. I go from being a peon to child of the King by simply agreeing to God’s terms. This is the fountain of Joy and every act in life can become a reason for joy when you and I realize the true depth of God’s love.
Let me end with this scripture from Romans. Read it, meditate on it, see God for who He is and see if Joy begins to set in, at least, a little.
“38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Wow! Why don’t I start every day with those verses? Reasons for Joy to start every day.