I’ve seen people who were in the worst of circumstances.
They’ve gotten diagnosed with cancer.
Or they've lost someone they love.
Or everything they had in the world.
Or their marriage fell apart.
Maybe they had a relative or child who is an addict or in jail.
These are all terrible things. They cause us sorrow.
But the common, and unexplainable thing that I’ve seen with all of these people is that they never lost their JOY.
So, what did they all have in common?
They were all suffering greatly.
They all had HOPE, that gave them JOY.
Well, hope in what??
See, JOY and HAPPINESS are two different things.
When things are going well, we are happy.
But that happiness is based on circumstances and when things take a turn for the worse,
our happiness goes right out the window.
JOY is different in the way that it is not based on circumstances. Joy is strongly tied to HOPE.
It is based on a hope of something better. It is an expectation of things to come. That is why Joy can remain long after happiness has left. We can have Joy right in the midst of suffering or bad
circumstances. It can live inside us and can’t be taken away.
The HOPE my friends had that gave them JOY was the hope that Jesus Christ gives that says, “yeah, this is terrible, but there is a better day coming.”
1 Corinthians 15 says,
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
This gives me hope and so I can have JOY even in the middle of the storm.