"Makes No Sense" Joy

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2 Corinthians 4: 6-9, 16-18

6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body…16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

A few days ago, things looked pretty bleak for someone that I love. And when you love someone through a tough time, let’s face it, you go through it with them. But as I was driving one day, it occurred to me that while my heart was heavy and I felt the weight of sadness, I had this inexplicable hope. Weird as it seemed, I even had joy. What was that?

Then I recalled this passage from the Book of 2 Corinthians. Paul is a man who knows conflict. Chased out of more than one town, usually running for his life, he was well acquainted with adversity. Once he was stoned by a mob and left for dead. He was dragged in and out of courtrooms, jailhouses, and was even shipwrecked. Remarkably, though, he did not despair. He holds on to those “things unseen” with joyful hope in his heart. And as I felt the weight of my own sadness, I realized that my hope and joy arise from the same source of Paul’s certainty. It is certainty and hope in a God who is at work in and for us, no matter what our circumstances. This is a God who never allows our sorrow to be wasted, and who has already demonstrated, in Christ, what his love for us (and his glory) looks like. That, my friends, is a reason for hope and joy.

 

© 2009 L. Kay Johnson, L is for LaNita. All rights reserved.

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