Joyful in Hope 

What I'm about to say makes absolutely no sense. It is completely contrary to the way we've been taught to think. In fact, it is downright crazy. 

In this world, this society, we told to find our joy and happiness in what we posses. You've attained, now you have the right to smile and feel fulfilled. You've arrived, joy is yours! You got what you wanted, now you're happy. But why that empty feeling that soon follows? Why only a temporary sense of fulfillment as our next goal is queued up?

Because God has a better way. His kingdom (His philosophy of life-living) operates differently than ours. Here's the crazy idea: while the world's joy comes from what it possesses, our joy comes from what we don't have. Joy from what we don't have! To reword: the children of this age, of this world's philosophy, are taught that joy is attained with what one has. We, as children of God's kingdom, those who think with the mind of Jesus, find our joy in what we hope for.

"Be joyful in hope ..."

Contrary to what comes naturally to us, right? Yet we all know the power of hope. We can live many years without many things, but take hope from us and our hearts become sick; and the person with a sick heart loses their desire to live. Hope is powerful because it brings joy and peace.

Joy, the source or cause of delight. God, the source of hope. The One who desires to fill us completely with joy and hope as we trust Him. And that is why hoping in the unseen makes no sense - it requires trust. Trust that God's intentions for us are true. Trust that hope will not disappoint because God is faithful. Trust that no one who puts their hope in Him will be shamed.

Finding your joy in your circumstances will be shaky at best; a roller coaster ride that will take your emotions all over the place. Circumstances change. What we possess changes. Our relationships morph and melt. As the cynic once said, there is nothing sure in this life except death and taxes. 

Finding our joy in what we have is really the thing that makes no sense. Jesus told us that He came for us to have life abundantly. There is no greater place you could put your hope than in Jesus and what He has promised. There is no greater resulting joy.

God's promises are all YES in Jesus. So if you're sitting in the pit of a broken relationship, hope in Him; He binds up the brokenhearted. If the emptiness of a loss is eating at your heart, hope in Him; He cares. When your plans have not worked out, hope in Him; His plans for you are good. Whatever your circumstance, now is the time to hope in Him; He is your all in all.

I have to give credit to my talented daughter Hannah Grace. All pictures used in my blog posts have been photographed by her. What a gift you have my Gracie!


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