Friday, December 4, 2009

Joy and the Example of Jesus

To best understand joy and its practical application for my life, I decided to go to the Supreme Example, Jesus Christ. To be perfectly honest, joy isn't the word that most readily comes to mind when I think of Jesus' life here on Earth. His was a life of suffering--more than any of us can begin to imagine. Yet, Jesus is the perfect example of everything, and we can learn much from His example of joy.

There are several references to Jesus' weeping in the Bible, but as far as I know none to Him laughing. I don't believe He went around with a sad face, though. Can you imagine the children being drawn to Him if He were frowning at them? Can you imagine Him looking on somberly while the lepers rushed off excitedly or the blind man rejoiced loudly after He healed them? He proves to us that circumstances have no bearing on our inner joy.

Jesus practiced joy in intense suffering. On the Cross, He thought of others first. While in the worst pain, thirst and fatigue anyone has ever suffered, He arranged for His mother's care after His death and saved a repentant thief. He prayed for His persecutors with genuine forgiveness. How does our relationship to others relate to joy? Remember the definition from Monday's post:
 Joy is an internal word which has to do with relationships, not circumstances, not happenings. Joy is the inner calm at the eye of the storm; feelings can be stormy, but there can also be an inner sense of rightness to the will of God. 
If anyone was right in the center of God's will for His life, it was Jesus!

Jesus viewed joy from the perspective of eternity. From God's viewpoint,Time--from Creation until Jesus returns--is just a little blip on the radar screen of Eternity. Jesus kept this in mind while He was born into a poor family, worked hard for a living until age 30 and ministering with all His human strength for 3 and a half years. "For the JOY that was set before Him, He endured the Cross." He knew that this life is only temporary and real joy will be experienced forever and ever by those that join Him in Heaven. In fact, in His teaching, His main references to joy were referring to Heaven. Any joy we feel here is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg to what we will experience there!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the "props" on my exercise post over at Blissfully Domestic. I'm a lover of the Lord as well . . . glad to have found you!