Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

The Joy of the Lord

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

RayMcDHappiness is circumstantially driven – while Joy is spiritually derived. This is one of my favorite sayings. I believe I created it some 35 plus years ago. When I did a Google search for these words – the first and only post that matches is this devotional thought I posted online last year. I’ve used that phrase for 3-4 decades.

The meaning of the phrase is that things or circumstances make us Happy – but Joy comes from our relationship with Jesus. Happiness is temporary – while Joy is lasting – even eternal.

I ran into a friend – yesterday – who is a Red Sox fan. He didn’t rub it in that I am an Orioles fan – but he made it clear he was happy with his team this year. I’ve experienced that kind of happiness before when my team(s) were winning or going to the playoffs or winning the World Series or Super Bowl or Stanley Cup.

There are things other than sports that can bring us happiness., The love of a good man or woman can bring us happiness. Watching our children and grandchildren grow can bring us happiness. Achieving things at work can bring us happiness. Payday can bring us happiness. I could go on – but each of these can change or fade or end. Happiness is temporary.

Yesterday – I helped celebrate the life of a person who definitely had the joy of the Lord. This was at the same event where I ran into the Red Sox fan. The Joy of this women was real. Ann loved her family – loved life – loved her church – but most importantly – she loved her Jesus. I believe her Joy in life came from her relationship with Jesus. Her life wasn’t perfect – but her Lord is and that made all the difference for Ann.

Paul was writing to the Christians in Rome when he wrote today’s passage. Here it is in partial context. Romans 15:5–13 – 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth, so that the promises made to the patriarchs might be confirmed 9 and, moreover, that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written: “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing the praises of your name.” 10 Again, it says, “Rejoice, you Gentiles, with his people.” 11 And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles; let all the peoples extol him.” 12 And again, Isaiah says, “The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; in him the Gentiles will hope.” 13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

If you don’t feel the Joy of the Lord – look into a mirror and search your relationship with Jesus. If we deepen our walk with Jesus – our Joy will increase. Try it – I know I’m right!

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

August 24, 2018 - Posted by | Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Theology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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