Author: Caleb Masula (Jonathan Alder H.S.)
I used to hate Saturdays. Every Saturday, (after I watched my morning cartoons, of course,) my dad would make me help him out with projects around the house. I thought that it was very unfair! I thought, “Why should I have to help fix the sink when I could be having fun?” I thought it was a complete waste of time. He always told me that if I chose to enjoy it, I could have had a good time helping out, and I might even learn some useful skills in the process. For a long time, I refused to listen to him. I thought that I could never have fun working around the house. But slowly, as time went on, I began to try it. I never truly enjoyed helping out, but I did start to learn a little bit about joy.
Joy is a special kind of happiness: It isn’t caused by the good stuff that happens, and it isn’t affected by the bad. You can be joyful no matter what the circumstances are. In 1st Thessalonians (5:16), Paul says that we should “Rejoice always!” Even when things are going wrong, God calls us to rejoice. James 1:2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” God uses the bad stuff to make us complete, so we can be happy even during the tough times, because we can use it as an opportunity to grow in our faith.
Although joy is easy to talk about, it’s very hard to put into practice. But if we find our joy in God, he will give it to us generously. 1st Thessalonians says, “You are our glory and joy!” If we find our joy in God, it doesn’t matter what happens. We can have joy no matter what!
- “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” -Philippians 4:4
- “But let all who take refuge in you (God) be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.” -Psalm 5:11
Text: © 2013 LCC- F.R.O.G. Youth Ministry. Used with author’s permission * Image: Google free use license