THIS Is Eternal Life!
It seems strange to talk about trials and joy in the same sentence, yet doing so is not only possible but necessary for those who are disciples of Jesus because we are called to have joy in the midst of trials! Most people would admit that they want to be “happy,” and “happy” is defined as being JOYFUL! So the question is not whether people want to be happy or have joy, but rather, HOW to be happy … HOW to have joy. If joy is defined simply as “a feeling of happiness,” then whatever gives you that feeling will make you joyful. Different people find joy in different things. Our problem is that as we live in this world so deeply affected by sin there are thousands of things that seem to STEAL our joy and therefore make us UNhappy! Jesus told His disciples that He came that they might have LIFE, and have it abundantly (John 10:10). Having told them that He was going away, but that He would send the Holy Spirit to live in them in order to bear fruit for His kingdom, Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that MY joy may be in you and that YOUR joy may be full!” (John 15:11). Jesus wanted them to have joy! Yet He also told them they would be hated, even killed, and they would face trials and suffering. So how could they, and how can we, live with joy … in the midst of trials?? The answer is not as difficult as you might imagine. We’ll find the answer in our message this morning!