What if you came home and found out your house had been burglarized? Your jewelry, your mementos, your TV, your microwave, even your car in the garage was gone. Worse than that, the perpetrators had burned your home to the ground. Would you still have joy?
If you got all your joy from your house and its furnishings, I doubt it. You'd just stare in shock at your charred, ruined life.
What if tradgedy struck- a child died, or your spouse was diagnosed with an incurable illness? If you got all your joy and security from your human relationships, I doubt you'd have any joy left. You might sink into a deep depression.
However, if your joy is in the Lord, you'd still have it- no matter what the circumstances. You see, the Bible never says rejoice in your house or rejoice in your furniture or rejoice in your automobile. What it says is rejoice in the Lord! It's important to remember that happiness is fleeting- it's an outside job. But joy is forever- it's an inside job.
When your joy comes from the Lord because he is enthroned in your heart, that joy is premanent- it can never be taken away. Do you have the Lord's joy deeply embedded in your heart?
"Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again- rejoice! Don't worry abut anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done." Phillippians 4:4-6
Taken from God's Hidden Treasures
by Adrian Rogers
Tundale House Publishers
Let us pray for each other so that we grow in tender love, that we allow God to love us, and that we allow God to love others through us.
Where does that showing of love begin? At home; so let us bring that love to the sick, to the old, to the lonely, to the unwanted. For people do not hunger only for bread; they hunger for love, they hunger to be somebody to somebody.
I will never forget that I once met a man in the street who looked very lonely and miserable. So I walked right up to him, and I shook his hand. My hands are always very warm; and he looked up, gave me a beautiful smile, and he said, "Oh, it has been such a long, long time since I felt the warmth of a human hand!" How very wonderful and very beautiful that our simple actions can show love in that way.
And let us remember to bring that kind of love into our family. We can do this through prayer; for where there is prayer, there is love. And where there is love, there is the complete oneness that Jesus was talking about when he said, "Be one, as the Father and I are one. And love another as I love you. As the Father loved me, I have loved you."
"This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us. We too, then, ought to give our lives for our brothers!" 1 John 3:16
Taken From Who Is for Life?
by Mother Teresa
It is an undeniable fact that usually it is those who have suffered most who are best able to comfort others who are passing through suffering. I know of pastors whose ministries have been enriched by suffering. Through their trials they have learned to "live through" the difficulties of the people in the parish. They are able to empathize as well as sympathize with the afflictions of others because of what they have experienced in thier own lives.
Our sufferings may be rough and hard to bear, but they teach us lessons which in turn equip and enable us to help others. Our attitude toward suffering should not be, "Grit your teeth and bear it," hoping it will pass as quickly as possible. Rather, our goal should be to learn all we can from what we are called upon to endure, so that we can fulfill a ministry of comfort- as Jesus did. "Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted." (Hebrews 2:18, NIV). The sufferer becomes the comforter or helper in the service of the Lord.
By the way, by "enduring" suffering, God led me to my wonderful wife, Ruth, who was His intended one for me.
"Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted by God." 2 Corinthians 1:4,5