IT’S FRIDAY, SUNDAY IS COMING! Having the joy of Christ.
This post is about having inner joy no matter what life looks like. In the middle of excruciating tidal-wave like problems, I will remind myself in reference to Christ’s bad Friday crucifixion day, “It’s Friday, Sunday is coming!!”
Let’s take a quick look at how he lived those last few days, knowing that he was to suffer a horrible death, for he is one of the best examples of having inner joy no matter what happened around him. The things he did are examples that we too can imitate & have the same joy.
First, Christ didn’t strive for the stuff the world says brings happiness: such as fortune & fame. They don’t. There are plenty of miserable people on rich estates. He didn’t write any books. He didn’t found any institutions. He didn’t leave any monuments or great buildings. He died as a criminal & painfully at that. From a worldly standpoint, he didn’t accomplish diddlysquat. But he was at peace with life. He blessed thousands of lives during his short ministry, and has continued to bless billions of people throughout history. He is the most significant person of history & arguably the person who accomplished the most of anyone in a lifetime, and he did all this while living a life full of inner peace & joy. He had to have faith that God would take the tiny seeds he had planted, and do something with them!
Likewise do our actions appear futile? No doubt. Have we always been rewarded for doing good? Rarely. Do people appreciate or understand what we done and tried to accomplish? Most certainly not. But all that is irrelevant. We see the bigger picture. We know that the fruits of our labors may take a long time to ripen after we plant the seed. You all know how it works, you plant a seed, and even though it is a tiny thing, you can wait, and after a period of time some big plants result. So it was with Christ, and so it is with us. So we may be tempted to ask, “Did I accomplish anything in my struggle against evil?” God’s Word says, “Now he that planteth & he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labors.” 1 COR 3:8. So we can have peace. Christ said his kingdom was like a hidden treasure. Now that’s something to get excited about. It reassures us that we won’t always see the rewards immediately for the good seed we planted. Yet, we can relax that indeed he has lots of spiritual treasures for our lives. As it is said, Taste the Lord and see that He is good.
So let’s get a taste of the good example he gave us in those last days facing death after he rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to crowds shouting “Hosanna!”. His example has so much to teach us & to benefit us, if we imitate it. First, he was busy doing noble & productive deeds. We should be also. He was a man who felt love, compassion, gratitude, & peace. We should accept those into our lives. He always flowed with the moment, and was open to life. So should we. He wasn’t waiting for life to make him happy, he brought joy to the world from his own inner joy. Having the Spirit inside us, provides us an inner supply of joy. He never acted powerless. He never wallowed in “poor me”. He never blamed his parents. From his calm demeanor, even on his last night, you’d think everything was perfect in his life, yet he dealt with betrayals by close friends, the frustrations of “retarded” (very slow learning) disciples, & the constant threat of entrapment by detractors who dogged him and slandered him. He lived poor and was what we’d label “unemployed”. Yet he never stopped seeing himself as a winner. And we should not either, if we are God’s children. He took everything in life in stride. Facing death, he didn’t flee into drinking, drugs, despair, or distractions, but was beautifully present in the moment. The moment was the Passover, and he turned the meal into an important lesson and new sacrament. He also looked for solutions; he prayed to heavenly Father YHWH that if there were other options, he prefer not to die…but realizing that there weren’t he knew by faith that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. Even during his intense pain on the cross, he was busy blessing people.
The World speaks about the standard of living & quality of life. They factor in the air & the grocery stores, while forgetting things such as a good conscience, peace, joy & a sense of purpose. They believe things make you happy, but the Word says you internalize joy by accepting it into your life.
Christ’s example on how to have internal joy no matter what is external in the world is powerful…”I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Yes, it is Friday my friend, but Sunday is Coming!!! Let’s make the most of life, and may the good Lord richly bless you.