Tag Archives: joy

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”  (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV)

There is no simpler prescription for human joy than the one Paul wrote for the Thessalonian disciples.

As children of God, if we have no reason to rejoice, we aren’t paying attention to all of the wonderful people, places, and things that God has created.

If we have no one for whom to pray other than ourselves, we aren’t paying attention in the places God has stationed us for the purpose of knowing how to pray for others in their distress.

If our hearts lack gratitude, we aren’t paying attention to the blessings we receive without a thought (and without a “thank you”).

When we don’t pay attention, we cheat ourselves of the opportunity to be a dancing light in the darkness; a partner with God in the transformation of a human life; and a source of joy to our heavenly Father.

Take less notice of yourself, and greater notice of the situations and the persons around you with the perspective of God, and your life will become a joyful, holy adventure!  – Luther

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“And he led them out as far as Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.  And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.  And they worshiped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God.  Amen.”  (Luke 24:50-53, NIV)
For the disciples of Jesus, Jerusalem had been the site of many tragic events over the previous days.  In fact, with the death of Jesus, it seemed that all of their dreams had been dashed; and that all of their plans had been trashed.
In the light of the Resurrection, however, they “returned to Jerusalem with great joy.”  We can only imagine what the outsiders must have thought about the disciples of Jesus as they saw them in the temple; joyful and praising and blessing God.  Perhaps they thought: “Aren’t these the disciples of the man who was crucified on Friday?  Why is it that they are now so bright and optimistic?”
The answer then, as now, is this: He lives!
The Resurrection of our Lord trumps every sorrow and redeems every failure.  The Resurrection enables us to return to the scene of our greatest humiliation with great joy and confidence.  To live in the light of the Resurrection is to truly live!  – Luther
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