Joy

In my job, I get to meet some very interesting characters.  For instance, a few months ago, I met a guy who had a titanium face.  I wondered why he wasn’t smiling whenever I said something funny.  He told me that he was crushed by a tree while logging three years ago, and the doctors had to reconstruct the majority of his body with titanium.  It all made sense after that.  I also met the guy who owns the original “General Lee” from The Dukes of Hazzard.  He said that Jay Leno offered him $750,000 for it, but he turned him down.  I even helped a guy feed his cows this week.

I meet some people that have very inspiring stories.  I meet others who feel like they have nothing to offer, so they choose to do nothing.  A few weeks ago, I sat down with a lady whose husband suffered from bipolarity and tourette syndrome.  She explained how difficult it was to live with him and take care of him, but somehow she managed.  The disappointing part came when she said, “This is the only real joy I get in life – just sitting here smoking with my coffee.”

[Insert awkward silence followed by, “So…”]  She laughed halfheartedly.  She was serious.  Coffee.  Cigarettes.  Joy.  That’s it.

How do you respond to that?  I’m sure she was somewhat joking, but could she have been serious.  When she goes to bed every night, is that what she looks forward to?  Is that all that gives her joy?

Have you ever felt like the daily grind is all there is to life.  You sleep, eat, and work.  That’s it.  Life is pretty mundane.  You have a case of the “Mondays” everyday.

In I Peter 1:7-9, Peter writes about how the trials of life are actually worthwhile: “These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.  Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

When you get a chance, read the rest of that chapter here.  Basically, in his letter to the fellow Christians, Peter admits that even though life is difficult, that we need to take JOY in our faith.  Our faith gives us our identity; it should be the constant.  Take away our paychecks, cars, houses, iPads, and with what does that leave you?  In Job’s case, it left him with an even greater faith.  Be joyful.  God is not finished yet.

Does your faith give you joy?

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