John 15: 9 &11, ” As the Father has loved Me, so I have loved you. Now remain in My love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” Let’s admit it…there hasn’t been a lot to be joyful about the last nine months. But it shouldn’t stop us from finding our source of happiness, well-being, and delight in the Lord. Jesus tells us that His joy is in us…fulfilled at the cross. And we should take this blessedness and share it with others…or as Mother Teresa once said, “Joy is a net by which you can catch souls.”
Sometimes it’s because of serious illness or loss…sometimes it’s the result of circumstances way beyond our control…but regardless, we can find ourselves without hope. There standing before us is no bright promise for things to come…only the bleak darkness of the here and now. But God’s intent…His plan and purpose for each one of us, is to give us hope and a future with Him. For God’s Will is only about doing good…His plans are perfect, His purpose for us, only the very best. So in place of our hopelessness, God promises joy… and in place of fear, He promises peace.
Most of us have a hard time expressing our condolences to a friend that’s just lost a loved one. We stumble around, trying hard to say something that will bring comfort. But it’s only the Lord that can truly bring solace and peace during a time of anguish and mental pain. Probably one of the most uncaring things to say is, “I know how you feel.” No you don’t, and you never will. Grief and grieving is unique to everyone, and all of us will go through it differently. But with the Lord’s help, grief will be soothed… fears will be quieted… peace will still frantic thoughts…and over time, joy will return.
There’s something to say about meeting with the Lord early in the morning before the world has a chance to inundate our minds with junk. For the past 30 some years the Lord and I have had a date at 5 AM around the kitchen table. Why so early? First, I want to give the Lord my best, not the left-overs from a hectic day when I’m way too tired to concentrate. But more importantly, it sets the tone for my entire day if I’m in the Word first not last.
We hear and accept the Word of life…the Holy Spirit comes to take up residence within, and we have the reassurance of eternal life. But we also overflow with that living water, for it says in John 7:38, “Whoever believes in Me, streams of living water will flow from within him.” Our lives spill over with joy, peace and love for others to see.