Finding Joy in the Real World
Our culture has nearly convinced itself that this world is all there is. Work hard. Enjoy life. Leave the world better off than you found it. Nothing wrong with those things. But there are times when life just won't cooperate. Then where is atheism when it hurts? Ask the new parents of the preemie in the NICU whether they experience joy and meaning while they're watching their baby struggle for oxygen. Ask the widow whose house burned down. Ask the man who just got laid off and found out he has cancer.
For saints, our mission is higher than what our culture is selling. In Colossians 1:9-10, Paul prayed for us that we would be able to walk a life that pleases God, is fruitful, and brings us to know God more and more. But life goes sideways for Christians too. I heard a preacher say "Every time a heathen gets cancer, a Christian gets cancer too--so the world can see the difference." That's why in Colossians 1:11-14 Paul prayed that God Himself would give us the strength to endure with patience, and amazingly, with joy.
This Sunday, I'm looking forward to a special time together as we discover how God enables us to really find joy in the real world. And then in light of what God has done, we will enjoy the Lord's Supper together.