Joy Despite Circumstance

Something that has always been difficult for me is the realization that happiness and joy are two very different things. Happiness is always circumstantial or dependent upon something. I will be happy when I pass this class; or when “xyz” happens I will be happy. We find happiness in the things on earth. Joy lasts beyond the circumstance.

Joy is knowing that Jesus died and rose again to bring us salvation. With that knowledge, even in sad times we should have joy. This makes me think of Philippians 1 when Paul’s only concern is that Christ’s name is being proclaimed. In verse 18 it says, “But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.” From an Earthly stand point it is hard to see how someone could be so happy about being imprisoned and treated poorly, but what this scripture tells us is that Paul wasn’t necessarily happy about it, but that he found joy in the suffering because he knew that the gospel was being shared and he knew that was greater than his earthly body.

Something that was very difficult for me this last year was adjusting to college courses. I was constantly stressed about my chemistry course and let it consume most of my happiness during my time studying. I let this course consume all of my extra time, slowly weakening my relationship with Christ. I wish I could’ve realized that one class is so temporary and my relationship with Jesus is much more important than my performance in a class. I needed to realize that there is always time to stop and worship.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, [a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

Having joy does not mean that bad things won’t happen. Having joy means that when bad things do happen, we can cling to the hope that Jesus died a perfectly sinless life so that we can have eternity with God in heaven. I feel that a lot of times we view this fact as mundane after having it said so often but, let that sink in. Jesus was perfect in every way. We fail him every single day, yet our names are written in the scars of his hands. There is absolutely nothing we can do for him to take that away from us and that is why we have joy.


Other Posts You Might Like:

Who You Say I Am - Laurie Templeton

An Honest Holiday Season - Mark Kennell

Is It Worth It? - Bob Bentley

Three Good Reasons You Aren’t Completely Happy - Ross Thomson

Trusting the Path - Sydney Lewis

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on the journeybaby dedication

Location
McKinney at Cardinal

101 Cardinal Drive
Denton, TX 76209

940.387.4355

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Sunday Worship Schedule
8:30 - Worship (1st Service)
Attended Nursery (0-2yr). Children (3yr-4th grade) are dismissed during the sermon to attend children's church.
9:40 - Focused Fellowship
This is a time of fellowship and refreshments throughout the building. Children pickup before or after Kids Praise.
10:00 - Adult Bible Classes & Kids Discipleship
Adult Bible Classes - locations vary. High School & Middle School Discipleship Groups in the Youth area. Kids Praise for 3yr-4th grade. Nursery 0-2yr.
11:00 - Worship (2nd Service) & Kids Bible Class
Attended Nursery (0-2yr). Children (3yr - 8th grade) are dismissed during the sermon to attend Bible classes.

Wednesday Evening Schedule
5:30 - Fellowship Meal
Adults - $4 and Students/Children $3 (during the school year)
6:30 - Passion Worship
Praise and worship time in the Worship Center.
6:30 - Celebrate Recovery
Celebrate Recovery is a Christ-centered, 12-step recovery group that provides a safe place to address and deal with life's hurts, habits and hang-ups.
7:00 - Bible Classes & Small Groups
Classes for children and adults of all ages and other ministry groups meet at various locations throughout the building.

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