Abiding Joy? Really?!?
Private worlds are swirling with circumstances that defy explanation. Cancer in our family, surgery coming up soon for a loved one, divorces of friends, our son let go from his job due to budget issues, deaths of friends….
The world as we know it fills the evening news with disheartening news about isis, ebola, kidnappings, murders…
My husband and I were wondering the other evening if there was more “bad” news, or if we simply were getting old enough to recognize it more often? We hurt for people we love, and those we don’t even know who are suffering.
John 15:11 “ I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Friends, Jesus was in a bad place here…and notice that he tells us that if our joy is IN HIM it is complete!
But how in the world do you have ABIDING JOY in the midst of all this pain?
It is not an emotion. It does not come and go. It is from the abiding in Christ that we can claim this joy. John 16:20 tells us it is steadfast in sorrow. 2 Corinthians 7:4 tells us that we have triumph in tribulation. Hebrews 10:34 says that it is lasting in losses. It is abundant in affliction states 1 Thesolonians 1:6
First….I must surrender. Throw up my hands and give up. I have to stop doing it on my own. Then I must become totally dependent on Christ. I must be obedient and rejoice in Christ. (John 15:1-11)
I abide in my home. What? I live in my home. I set up residence in my home. I go home to rest, for nourishment, for safety. I am comfortable in my home. It is not the house in which I live; it is the home in which I abide.
I live IN CHRIST. I set up residence IN CHRIST and His spirit. I go to Him for rest, for nourishment, for safety. I am comfortable IN HIM. HE is where I abide. And in abiding I find JOY. Not a giggly, goofy comical feeling…but a deep abiding joy.
The catch? I must CHOOSE JOY. It can be taken from me if I allow it to be. Someone could kick me out of my home…if I let them. Otherwise, I am here to stay!
And so is HE! Abide in that JOY.
If you have not moved into that home…it might be time.
IN CHRIST ALONE
*pixabay, personal image, google image, NIV Bible