Building One Another

E. Stanley Ott

JOY TO YOU! Vol 11 No 11

July 17, 2012

Dear Friend,

How is your joy doing at the moment? “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice,” wrote the Apostle Paul (Philippians 4:4*) You may be feeling joy. You may be feeling no joy!

One way to think about the “always” part of “rejoice in the Lord, always,” is to think in terms of your present joy and of your future joy.

Present joy is right here, right now joy. Whether it’s a hug from a friend or a cup of coffee or time with a child or some good news, present joy uplifts the spirit.

Future joy, on the other hand, sustains the spirit. It is the assurance that ultimately all things will work together for the good for those who love God. Future joy is the later on joy that sustains our spirits through times when life is tough.

Present joy is about thanking God. When you are aware of a joy in your life or in the lives of those around you it’s the perfect time to simply be grateful. Thank you, Lord!

Future joy is about trusting God. We read in Hebrews 12 how Jesus, for the sake of the joy set before him, endured the cross. So when you are aware of a tough time in your life or in the lives of those around you it’s the perfect time to simply trust the Lord who said, “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” John 15:11 

So your present joy, the joy that uplifts the spirit is about thanking God and your future joy is that which sustains you when you aren’t feeling joy, yet you are trusting God for the future.

Ask yourself, “Am I an agent of joy in the lives of the people around me,” such that they offer thanks to God for the joy in their present life and they trust our Lord for their future joy as well?

With joy - E. Stanley Ott
Copyright 2012 E. Stanley Ott
*Scripture from the NRSV