Living the Risen Life, Joyful in Hope

On this day after the Boston Marathon bombing, I extend my prayers on behalf of the families of those are suffering loss and injury.  It’s hard to schedule today’s post and I’ve rewritten part of it to be sensitive to their pain.  But in another sense, Living the Risen Life–particularly when we face immense suffering–offers the opportunity to be reminded of the distinction between happiness and joy.

Let’s face it: happiness is fleeting.  It’s a surface condition that the winds of change and the storms of life can disturb.  Storms of life can be ones such as yesterday’s horror that everyone recognizes and in which we all feel your pain to some degree.  But storms can also be events that are still significant even if less visible on the news: like losing a job or an account; gaining weight despite your best efforts; getting yelled at by a family member, neighbor, or boss; seeing a Facebook status that ruins your day; watching the nightly news; or receiving a bad health report.  Any of these things in addition to hearing news that is tragic about someone you love can cause any of us to have our happiness vanish.

Joy, on the other hand, comes from knowing the powerful love of God and having the assurance of salvation.  This is secured to the Rock of Ages and cannot ever be shaken. Our circumstances may not be happy and our season of life might not feel like happiness, but let’s always remember that joy is different.  It’s deep in our souls and it cannot be taken away.  Not ever.

Not ever…now that’s the stuff of hope!

Furthermore, because our hope is not resting on some transient happening in our circumstances, we are able to experience joy even in the times when our happiness is stripped away.  Jesus said in John 16:22 “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

Has someone or something stolen your happiness for now?  They can’t take your joy.  Know this rock solid kind of life Jesus died to give us!  Know the hope of eternal life.  Jesus came and lived and died to offer us forgiveness and make it possible for us to be Living the Risen Life, Joyful in Hope.


Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on April 16, 2013

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