READ : 1 Peter 1:3-9
It’s really tough to live without joy. Loren Baas was a deputy clerk in the District Court and assistant supervisor of the traffic bureau. He handled citizen complaints on traffic and parking violations. Irate residents would throw their tickets at him. They shouted obscenities in his face. They wished ulcers on him. They slammed the phone in his ear. Baas admitted that he often became angry. The job pushed his blood pressure out of control. He resigned and went back to college.
Even living under ugly Roman rule, early Christians possessed joy. They were said to be “filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (1:8). Rome was not a happy place. The glory days of the once mighty empire had passed. Roman citizens were tired. They had lost purpose in living. Inscriptions on tombs spoke of sorrow and death. There was little hope of life after death.
The New Testament speaks of joy at least 180 times. Christians were known by the joy they possessed. Shielded by God we can know joy deep within. Joy springs from the assurance that in life and in death we belong to Christ. Discouragement and even suffering are unable to rob us of this joy.
O God, deliver me from obsessive fears. Grant me joy. In Christ’s name. Amen.