(To the tune of I’ve Got Joy.)
I found my joy, joy, joy, down in the trash. Where? Down in the trash. Where? Down in the trash. I found my joy, joy, joy, down in the trash, rotting my purpose away.
Ever feel like that? Like your joy is buried beneath a mound of gunk, irreparably tarnished?
When was the last time you rejoiced in something other than personal pleasure or your achievements? When you looked past your trials in search of a greater glory? The Bible tells us Jesus endured the brutality of the cross for the “joy set before Him” (Hebrews 12:2). I believe God longs for us to approach our struggles and trials with the same long-term focus as we die to ourselves and surrender our lives to God’s bigger plan.
Join me at Internet Cafe Devotions as we talk about biblical joy and how to grab hold of it … even while standing in the garbage dump.
I’d love to hear from you. What helps you stay centered in Christ when everything else attempts to pull you in the other direction? What verses provide hope or encouragement?
I had joy when I stood firm, facing the persecution from my family after I became a Christian. Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”
That’s awesome, Dicky. Love that verse, and I think it is helpful to remember that God sees us and everything we go through and promises to bless us for our obedience, whether that means glorifying him in trials or persecution.
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me–the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24…I have many favorite verses of encouragement, but if I read the verses leading up to this one, Paul’s hardships, the unknown he faced in returning to Jerusalem, his tears, I’m reminded that no matter what our “however” is, God is in it. (I’m working on a devotion about this verse which will probably end up as a blog post.) I enjoyed reading your post.
Great verse, Laura! Love your focus–on glorifying God no matter what situation we are in. And wow, you are so right. Paul endured more than most of us ever will have to, and yet, through it all, he stayed 100% focused on Christ and His mission. Powerful stuff!