“For this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
For the past few weeks every news outlet was fixated on the “eye of the storm,” where it will hit and the damage it could cause to people and property. It is as if nothing else was going on in the world except the “eye of the storm” and its consequences. Life can be like that sometimes; when disaster strikes, either natural disasters like hurricanes, or disasters that strike to the core such as illness, loss of a loved one, or economic uncertainty, everything else seems to just disappear around us. In the eye of the storm, nothing else matters but the storm. A life well-lived in joy is one that draws strength in seeing beyond the storm and understanding that our Lord will provide all that is needed to weather the storm, that the peace of God,” which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) The joy of the Lord celebrates the presence of God in the midst of the storm and sets our eyes hills of God’s never-failing grace, the one who promises to “keep you from all evil; he will keep your life…from this time on and forevermore.” (Psalm 121) A life well-lived in joy is not giddy all the time but is confident that God will provide the strength, the hope, and all that is needed wherever the “eye of the storm” may hit. A life-well lived in joy knows and witnesses a faith that is contagious, especially to those caught up in roaring seas or shattered dreams. Joy is all about knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt the mighty hand of God will offer strength when ours grow weary and that,” although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy, for you are receiving the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (I Peter 1:8-9) A life well-lived in joy has “thank-you Jesus on their lips in good times and in bad, in uncertain times and tough times, and just all the time.