I preached last Sunday at Redeemer on JOY! (Listen here.)
My definition of 'joy' is:
It's been a strange two days. I was scheduled to have hip replacement surgery this morning at 7:30. Yesterday, surgeries at our local hospital were canceled due to a Covid surge. I was supposed to have the surgery, then be placed in a room overnight. I got the call from the hospital yesterday late afternoon telling me there are no available rooms.
So, instead of being at the hospital and coming through the surgery, I am upstairs in my home office doing morning prayer time. One of the devotionals I am using is You Are the Beloved, by Henri Nouwen. The December 14 entry is on Joy. Nouwen writes,
"Joy does not come from positive predictions about the state of the world. It does not depend on the ups and downs of the circumstances of our lives. Joy is based on the spiritual knowledge that, while the world in which we live is shrouded in darkness, God has overcome the world. Jesus says it loudly and clearly: “In the world you will have troubles, but rejoice, I have overcome the world.”
The surprise is not that, unexpectedly, things turn out better than expected. No, the real surprise is that God’s light is more real than all the darkness, that God’s truth is more powerful than all human lies, that God’s love is stronger than death." (P. 380)