Being Salt and Light by Spreading Joy

Dec 12, 2020

Have you ever thought about the next thing that would bring you joy? “If I can just get that new house or car, I will be happy”, or “Once I graduate or get married, I will feel the joy that I have been looking for.” But what always happens after we finally reach that point? We find ourselves searching for the next thing. So why is that? Why is it that as soon as we think we have arrived at what will make us happy, we immediately search for the next thing and then again are disappointed in our circumstance. Could it be that we are looking at joy the wrong way entirely?

 

You have probably heard of Paul, the writer of half of the New Testament. Before he followed Jesus, he hunted Christians and was very feared by them. Fast-forward to the day when Jesus intervened in his life and showed Paul the truth of who He was. After this, Paul was transformed into a great advocate for Jesus. However, even as a Christ follower Paul was no stranger to tough circumstance.

“I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was pelted with stones, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked (2 Corinthians 11:23b-27).”

 

Wow. This guy really went through it. He even wrote a letter to the Philippian church telling them to be joyful while he was sitting in prison (See Philippians 1 and 2). How is it that he was able to find such immense joy when his life was full of such terrible hardship?

 

Joy is an attitude that we, as Christ followers, adopt. This isn’t because of our circumstance, but because of our hope in Jesus and what He has done for us. Paul’s joy did not diminish or devalue his hardship and pain, but it gave him hope in the middle of what could have felt like a hopeless situation.

 

So how do we choose a mindset of being a joy spreader when true joy comes from our relationship with Jesus? Giving a gift or helping a family with groceries is amazing but it just changes their circumstance temporarily. In order to spread true joy, we must couple the tangible acts of service with the reason why we have joy. The hope and love of Jesus.

 

From Home:

  • Make cookies for neighbors/sanitation workers. Include a note with an invite to Christmas services.
  • Have a “serve” day in your own home where your family intentionally serves one another.
  • Make cards and send them to local nursing homes with your favorite Bible verse.
  • Host a virtual game night.
  • Order another family pizza and send them a message to ask how you can be praying for them during the Christmas season
  • Leave handwarmers and Chapstick for your postal workers with an invite to Christmas services.
  • Pray for God to bring to your mind another family that you can bless with groceries.
  • Share the online Christmas service.

While out and about with the family:

  • Pay for someone’s meal at a restaurant or for someone’s coffee in the drive through line.
  • Take a treat to someone you know who has to work on Christmas with a card that has an invite to Christmas services.
  • Spend the day with your parents or grandparents and help them decorate for Christmas. Ask them about their favorite parts of their childhood.
  • While out to eat, ask your waiter or waitress how you can pray for them as your food comes. Give them a noticeably sizable tip.
  • Buy Christmas gifts for a family in need.

 

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” – Romans 15:13

“You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” – Psalm 16:11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We hope you’ll find that Grace is somewhere that you can feel comfortable to explore faith, ask questions, grow spiritually, and connect with others. And most importantly, of course, we hope you connect with God!