The Joy of Jesus

The wilderness is a humbling place. You don’t “impose your will upon it”—you learn how to survive it. Each day brings forth its own challenges that can quickly turn into dangers for those who are arrogant or unprepared. To survive, you must learn to be in the wilderness but not allow the wilderness be in you.

Fear is the same way. We must have some to function in a healthy way. We fear running a red light or putting our hand on a hot stove. We fear the consequences of not following directions when taking medication or not practicing proper hygienic procedures. But when we allow fear to get in us and to us, that’s not good.

As I scanned the BBC homepage yesterday, I noticed it’s top ten stories (most read) all had the word “coronavirus” in them. (Sadly, an article on “Coronavirus Kindness” didn’t make the cut). It’s bad to be ignorant. It’s good to be informed. But there’s nothing healthy or good about being over-inflated with facts, statistics and negative news to the extent that it is all we can think about.

In the shadow of the cross, John tells us not once, but twice that Jesus spoke of “My joy” (15:11, 17:13). Don’t you love that? The weight of the world on His shoulders, His enemies bearing down on Him, His disciples fighting about who was greatest in the kingdom and Christ is going off about His joy. What kind of person does that? The kind of person who knows their Father’s love!

We know our Father’s love. News cycles come and go. Headlines appear and disappear. If joy was possible in the face of the cross, it is possible at any time. Let’s look at nothing independent of our Father’s love.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is lover: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 John 4:9-10)

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