Real Joy – Part 2
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Yesterday we asked the question of why we struggle with being content. While there is a plethora of possible answers, there is one answer that over-shadows all – we fail to realize the power of the resurrection in our lives. I’m sure St. Paul didn’t enjoy being in jail, or beaten, or shipwrecked, but he knew a secret that brought joy even in such dire circumstances.
Few of us are jailed, beaten or shipwrecked, but we can’t even find contentment when our biggest problems are thinking, “Why can’t I have what they have?” Or perhaps, “Why did this situation happen to me? I’m a good person!” What’s wrong with these scenarios is they fail to recognize the blessing God has given to be who we are, where we are, and with what we have. For most of history, most of humanity has lived poor and with great suffering. Compared to those, even the poor of today are rich, and in the Western modern world we hardly know what real suffering is all about.
However, into all our doubt and pity, the Word of God comes to us with the secret to being content. Paul said the secret is to know that Christ and the power of His resurrection is our strength in any and all situations. Only His power can deliver us from our selfish desires, and self-pity. The good news today is that that power is available to all who believe, to all who will reach out and call upon His name. We can do ALL things through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ.
So, how do we live in this power every day? By living lives full of gratitude for the life we’ve been given – it could always be worse. When we are grateful for the life we have, and we call upon the name of Jesus when things get tough, then we live in the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy:
“…no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD and their vindication from me, declares the LORD.”
Are you there yet? Have you found real joy in all circumstances? Many days I’m not either, but I want to be, and I bet you do too. So today, forgetting what’s behind us, and thankful for the breath we have and the life we live, let’s move forward calling on the name of the Lord, and remember, Christ is risen…and so are we!
Grace & Peace,
Almighty God, forgive me for my times of doubt and selfishness. Help me to live in the power and name of Jesus Christ my savior, and the power of His resurrection. Amen. Alleluia!
Image credit: http://citychapeloc.com/real-joy/