Strong spirits: what is joy, really?
Joy is not the occasional instance of gladness that we stumble into. Nor is it our response when everything is going our way. Joy is a source of power that we are offered, that we desperately need, and that we are mandated to practice:
"Rejoice in the Lord always!" Philippians 4:4
"Rejoice evermore" 1 Thessalonians 5:16
"The joy of the Lord is your strength." Nehemiah 9:8
Just before he went to his death, Jesus told his disciples: "I have told you this so that my joy might be in you, and your joy might be complete." (John 15:11)
Jesus knows what it will take to live our lives for him. He knows how hard life often is. He himself suffered the worst of what the world could dish out. He knows that for us to live the abundant life he intends, it will take joy- lots of it!
In this world there will be plenty of sorrow. But his intention for us is joy. Why not ask him to fill you up?
Besides serving as pastor at Caledonia Congregational Church, Gary Schwerin is the Spiritual Development Minister for the YMCA of the Rock River Valley and Executive Director of Bridge Ministries of Rockford. Prior to launching Bridge Ministries, Gary spent many years in leadership with Young Life. His columns appear here every Sunday - to see them all, subscribe to our daily email.
Here's a different video message about joy, from 2021: