Where is the Joy?
Serving God is not always easy. The Bible makes it clear that following Jesus will include trouble, persecution and bearing a cross. Add to that the attacks of our Enemy, the Devil, and you may begin to wonder: “Where is the joy?”
Here you are, trying to serve God by serving others and those “others” keep on doing thoughtless and annoying things that drive you crazy. The efforts you are putting in are not even acknowledged with a simple “thank you.” Where is the joy?
You look around you, and it seems that those who have not made God a priority in their life are having more fun than you are. They are successful and you are struggling. Where is the joy?
We have come through a pandemic, international tension is rising as Russia invades Ukraine, infla-tion is rising, gas prices are rising. Where is the joy?
Sometimes the joy is in seeing a life changed … helping someone see the light at the end of a dark tunnel, or watching the light go on in a person’s life as they discover God’s love for them. Sometimes the joy is being reassured of those things in your own life. Sometimes the joy is in making a difference … in seeing the big picture…God’s ultimate plan and your role or purpose in life.
The joy is not in my circumstances, it’s in my relationship with God … knowing God and being known by God, being made right with God through Jesus Christ, and being privileged to serve as His dis-ciple.
At our Easter service, we will joyfully proclaim: He is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah! Jesus has risen from the dead, and this changes everything, including our perspective on where to find joy.
When the life of service is getting you down, when you are tired of the frustration and stress and ready to quit, take some time with your risen Savior, Jesus. It’s the joy of knowing Him that led you to serve in the first place, isn’t it?
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiv-ing, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7(NIV)
Pastor Brian Truog