2 Corinthians 7:4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.
Some people attribute a lack of joy to unfavourable circumstances. They believe joy is attainable only when their circumstances enable them to experience joy. The Bible offers a completely different perspective. Paul testified “I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.” Paul experienced tribulation and yet was exceeding joyful! He also wrote of the churches of Macedonia abounding in joy though they were “in a great trial of affliction” (2 Corinthians 8:2). Furthermore, Paul wrote of the saints of God in Thessalonica that they received the word of God with joy even though they were “in much affliction” (1 Thessalonians 1:6). Lastly, believers should “count it all joy” when falling into divers temptations (James 1:2). We should understand that our joy as Christians is not dependent upon favourable circumstances.
· (For children): Jesus left heaven’s glory and became a man. He suffered and died on the cross after having taken our sins upon Himself. Would you think that the cross was a joyful time for Jesus? No, yet Hebrews 12:2 says He had joy. He knew He was doing the Father’s will and He was doing something wonderful for us. If someone in your family fell sick, what could you do to help them? Would this not bring joy to you?
· (For everyone): Do you have joy in the good times and also in the midst of troubles and trials? What circumstances often lead to the loss of joy in your life?
· Do you find that your joy comes and goes all too easily? Why do you lose your joy? Why do you allow the circumstances of life to rob you of the joy that the Lord has set before you?
· Ask the Lord to help you have joy in the good times and in the bad.
· Ask God to strengthen your joy in Him in all circumstances.
Song: Singing I Go