I apologize for anyone who heard this yesterday, but I keep thinking about joy. I hope that if I ever have to endure great hardship, whether it's poor health, traumatic loss, or even persecution, I will have the same joy found in the apostles in Acts 5, in Paul & Silas in Acts 16, and in my late friend, Pete, who endured a lifelong devastating disease. All expressed a joy that superseded any circumstances they found themselves in. I consider myself a joyful person, but how could I not be? I'm a strikingly attractive young man with great hair, loving parents, and I have great relationships with my siblings. I have the best job in the world and have had few traumatic events in my life. I have no excuse. I better be joyful! But what about the aforementioned sufferers? Where did their joy come from? But as I was listening to Steven Curtis Chapman's song, "What Kind of Joy", I heard the answer. He finishes his chorus with this line: "This is the joy of a soul that's forgiven & free." And so, it appears that when we surrender our lives to Christ and receive His forgiveness, all the joy in the universe is at our disposal! Regardless of our circumstances, we have access to His joy and have no excuse for our lack. Let us embrace His joy so that it overflows and impacts everyone we come in contact with.
Are you a soul that's forgiven and free?