Dec 17, 2020 | Brent Vawter
In all this you greatly rejoice ... – 1 Peter 1:6
In the Old Testament, joy is often linked with military victory and harvest time. Understandably, God’s people rejoiced when their battles yielded safety and rest, and when their toil in the land produced plenty to eat.
But the joy Jesus ushers in with His kingdom is also the joy of victory and harvest. This joy is supernatural: it doesn’t depend on a life of physical wellbeing. The early church faced suffering, persecution, and danger with great joy because they lived in light of the victory of Christ over sin and the grave! No loss could ever compare to the gladness of that gain. The apostles didn’t wait for things to be easy to spread the good news. They poured out their lives for the gospel, sowing seeds that would result in an eternal harvest of lives yielded to God.
In ALL this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 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. – 1 Peter 1:6-7
How do we have joy in the midst of trials? By choice. Hard, conscious, choice. Like willing ourselves to bite our tongues when slandered, we must choose to thank God for the work He’s doing through this hardship – in us and/or for others.
A song that I sing for my kids every night can help remind us in a practical way, how to help us choose joy. We call it the J.O.Y. song and we sing it to the tune of jingle bells.
J.O.Y. – Jesus first, yourself last, and others in between.
When we put Jesus first, ourselves last, and others in between, we experience God’s supernatural joy despite the trials.
Think and pray
As we continue into the Christmas season, my prayer for us all is that we would be reminded of the joy that is available to us through Jesus Christ. That we would find joy in serving others and remember the greatest gift we could ever receive, the gift of salvation through Jesus who was born on Christmas morning.
Okay God, You know this has been a crazy year, and it’s clearly not over. But today, rather than focus on the inconvenience and uncertainty in my world, I choose joy. Your joy. The joy that comes from remembering what you’ve done for me, and the joy of sharing that love with others. Help me to be an authorized ambassador of joy this season! Amen.
Tyler DuBose serves as the Ministry Coordinator for CBMC Oklahoma. He is passionate about building relationships that challenge each other to grow closer to Jesus. Tyler has been leading high school small groups for the past 8 years and is active in his adult Sunday school class. Tyler has had various jobs but the constant of serving others and creating relationships has remained the same throughout his career.