January 25, 2010
READ: John 16:17-24
You now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. —John 16:22
You may be familiar with the list of seven deadly sins that was formulated during the sixth century: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, vengeance, envy, and pride. But you may not know that the original list compiled during the fourth century also included the sin of sadness. Over the years, that emotion was omitted from the inventory.
Some people are blessed with a cheerful disposition. They always seem to be happy. They wear a perpetual smile almost as if they were advertising toothpaste. But then there are others who seem to be chronically sad. They continually complain about life and its burdens. And who can deny that afflictions are discouraging?
While we acknowledge that not everybody is blessed with a bright outlook on life, we need to remember that joy is one of the gifts Jesus promised to His followers. And we need to resist any tendency to let sadness dominate our emotional lives.
Jesus promised His disciples on the night Judas betrayed Him, “Your joy no one will take from you” (John 16:22). Remember that joy is the fruit of the indwelling Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Let’s ask the Lord to help us look beyond our sorrowful circumstances and encourage our hearts by the vision of joy that awaits us (Heb. 12:2). — Vernon C. Grounds
You alone, Lord Jesus, can true joy impart,
For You know the sorrow of the human heart;
You came here from glory many hearts to win
And in love for sinners suffered once for sin. —Anon.
Joy is a fruit of the Spirit that’s always in season.