“…you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit.” 1Th 1:6
In prosperity or poverty, life is hard and joy is even harder to hold on to. Yet, Jesus wants his joy to be our joy and thankfully he is ever holding on to us.
The apostle Paul was no pollyanna when it came to facing the harsh realities of life. He did not subscribe to the delusional power-of-positive-thinking school, but found his contentment and joy in Christ alone. In a dungeon-like prison he wrote his most joy-filled letter - Philippians. It is replete with words like “rejoice” and “joy.” To the Thessalonians, not ignoring the difficulties they faced, he wrote, “…you received the word in much affliction” (1 Th 1:6). However, Paul adds that they did so, “…with the joy of the Holy Spirit.”
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.” Philippians 4:4 How often are we to rejoice in the Lord? Paul says, “always.” How can we do this in such a broken world? Charles Spurgeon helps us here when he says, “A little faith will bring your soul to heaven; a little bit more faith will bring heaven to your soul.” In Christ we can rejoice even in the bad days, and especially rejoice and gives thanks for the great days.
It is such a blessing, being made in the image of a Community - Father, Son, Holy Spirit, to foster and experience heavenly joy in Christ through our families, friends, and church family. As a result, as an old Swedish proverb states, our joy will be doubled, and our sorrow reduced to half.
It is with this in mind that the first Meandering Photo Search selection was made. A huge thank you to everyone who sent in a photo. You all made it tough to narrow it down to just one which is the way we wanted it. Please keep sending in such great photos!
Eric Poll’s picture of his son, Keghan, was selected for this month. Eric wrote, “This photo (taken a few years ago) is of Keghan on a water slide in our backyard. Keghan is generally a happy little guy but I recall that day being one of his best. Everything was going right for him. I remember tucking him in bed that night with him exhausted, slightly sun-burnt and at peace. That night was one of the few unprompted 'I love you Dad' that I have received from him. He said that he had a great day and he was glad to spend it with me. So, on the surface, this is a joyful photo of a child being a child. However, deeper down, this photo stirs up one of my most joyous days as a Dad.”
“…complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” Philippians 2:2
Thanks, Eric, for sharing this “joyous” photo with your church family. Next month’s Meandering Photo Search theme is, Hope. Deadline for photo submission is Tuesday, April 26.
Meandering on purpose, with a purpose,