Have you ever been given a job that you thought was too hard?
Joy was a member of a church in Australia. She and her husband Warren had two daughters, both had Cystic Fibrosis. Being a mom took a lot out of joy, especially the treatment she administered to keep their lungs clear. So, the children made it to high school and it seemed as if things were improving. Then she got breast cancer which eventually took the 34 year old mother's life. Even while sick, she cheered others on in the hospital, and had a joy which totally matched her name.
1 Thes 5:16 " Be joyful always, pray continuously, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
Sounds like three impossible tasks! Joyful always, praying continually, and thanks in all circumstances. Who here is living this life? Are these things impossible?
What is joy?
1) Romans 15:13 & 1 Thes 1:6b
Joy is a gift given by the Holy Spirit. It comes from God and is not a work of our own human nature.
It is more than just an emotion. St Paul could be sorrowful and joyful at the same time. We at a Christian's funeral can feel sorrow and still have the joy of our salvation in Jesus.
As we fix our eyes on Jesus we can find and keep true joy. As we consider his cross and the salvation he has brought we will not loose heart. The "Journey to Joy" is really the "Journey with Jesus".