Time for a quick heart check to begin the new year. No, not with an EKG or CT scan. Just a simple question to diagnose our spiritual heart condition. Here it is:
How’s your joy?
Just pause and think about that for a moment. Would you describe yourself as a truly joyful person? How about your attitude? Your words? Your Facebook updates? What would your spouse say? Friends? Kids?
A new USA Today/Gallup poll says there is an increasing pessimism in our country. About 50% of Americans now fear the country’s best years are behind us.
It may take more effort in 2013 to rejoice. But we as Christians still have plenty of reason to remain joyful! In fact, the apostle Paul commanded the Thessalonians (a city full of spiritual darkness and persecution) to “rejoice always” (1 Thess. 1:16-18).
So here’s a little ‘prescription medication’ to get that heart back in shape, rejoicing always. Meditate on these verses and be encouraged:
Psalm 13:5–6 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
John 16:22–24 So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
1 Peter 1:4–9 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
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