Wednesday's Word: JOY, devotion, challenges, Joy During Struggles, Finding Joy in Difficulty

Our family had just finished up a delicious meal with my parents. In fact, my mom had brought over most of the meal, so to me it was extra delicious; I didn’t have to cook.

Throughout dinner, there was one dish that was being avoided. It wasn’t because it didn’t taste good; I tried it and it was yummy. But the appearance of the mushy broccoli mixed with cheese was not very enticing. By the end of dinner, that particular dish had become the joke of the meal. Thankfully, my mom took it all in good humor. As my Dad prepared to take their dishes home, he grabbed that one and began piling the other dishes right on top of the broccoli dish. Apparently, he had no plans to eat the leftover broccoli the next day. As we all laughed at this funny demise of the broccoli, my son caught this picture of my Dad carrying said broccoli out of the house. His face tells it all. 

My Dad is someone who is filled with joy. He’s filled with the kind of joy that creates lightness, laughter, and love. The kind that someone holds when they are having a fun day or holding a great conversation. It’s part of his personality and attitude that we all admire and love. He’s a cheerful man! 

He’s also someone who is filled with the kind of joy that fills him even during difficult times. This is the kind of joy our family saw in my Dad as he battled cancer over the years. It’s the kind of joy that floods my Dad’s soul throughout all circumstances, not just the happy ones. The kind of joy that comes because of a relationship with Jesus. The kind of joy the bible speaks about when it says, “the joy of the Lord is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10) or “consider it pure joy my brothers when you face trials of many kinds” (James 1:2).  

This second type of joy doesn’t happen as easily. This second type of joy may be more difficult for us to see. This second type of joy often comes through tears rather than laughter. Through challenge rather than cheer. Yet, this second type of joy, is the biblical joy that does indeed give us strength. Does indeed produce perseverance, as James goes on to say. This type of joy, comes from knowing that we serve a God who has provided hope in the midst of all situations. A God who has provided a way for us to experience life abundantly on this earth, pain and all, as well as provided us with an eternal destination with Him when we finish our time on this earth. Now that’s something that should bring joy to each of one of us! I hope you will be filled with this type of joy today, and every day. And also remember to enjoy some of the laughter of the “broccoli joy” too, because the bible also tells us in Proverbs that “a joyful heart is good medicine”, and we can all use some medicine like that. 

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Philippians 4:4

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  Romans 15:13

Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.  John 16:24


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