Media outlets bombard us 24 hours a day with graphic accounts of depravity in our neighborhoods, cities, and schools. Thousands of ads per day tell us we must buy stuff in order to achieve self-worth, happiness, and fulfillment. And pharmaceutical companies will gladly treat whatever ails us, for a price that many cannot afford.
It’s no wonder that people of the world feel lost, depressed, and unhappy. Their only hope of joy comes from earthly events, circumstances, or possessions, which Jesus tells us are temporary (Matt. 6-19).
As Christians, our joy is not rooted in the outcome of a golf game, a promotion, or shiny new sports car. It comes from who we are and Whose we are. It comes from personally knowing our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ through our repentance and baptism (Acts 2:38). And it comes from His resurrection that assures our Heavenly inheritance (1 Peter 1:3) and obedience to His commands (John 14:21).
That does not mean, however, that we are immune to pain or sadness. As Christ’s followers, we should experience sadness when a friend or family member denies Christ or dies without knowing Him. We should grieve with others who’ve lost a loved one. And hurt when they’ve been hurt. After all, they’re God’s creations, too.
And, like everyone else, we are frail and flawed humans who live in a sinful, imperfect world. We’re vulnerable to accidents, malevolence, and painful – even terminal – diseases. We aren’t immune.
Thankfully, through our relationship with Christ, we can rise above the trials and tribulations. Look at the Apostle Paul… he was whipped, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, and imprisoned, among many other extreme hardships (2 Cor. 11:24-27). Yet, he found joy: “In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy.” (2 Cor. 7:4 ESV)
We can find joy, too. As that beautiful hymn reminds us, “this world is not my home, I’m just a-passing through.”
Garriott Road church of Christ