“You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.” (I Peter 1:8-9 ).
Circumstances come into our lives and affect us. Sometimes for the good but sometimes for the worse. The “worse” circumstances can rob us of our silliness, our joy, and wonder. In 2020, joy or happiness has become complicated and often tied to our circumstances or some unattainable goal. When Winnie loses his balloon, he is sad. Christopher says what every parent has said in that situation “You don’t need it anymore.” Pooh replies “But it did make me happy.” It is hard to find joy today in the little things like a red balloon, a pot of honey, or quality time with the wife and kids.
It is easy to identify with Christopher Robin. The last couple of years have been pretty rough, filled with chaos, change, and a burdensome feeling of uncertainty about the future. Stress and worry are palpable as you worry about your job, your teenage kids, and decisions you make that could have far-reaching implications. It is not that far a leap to worry about everything. Where is the joy in that?
Christopher Robin wants joy. I imagine even Eeyore wants joy. You and I want joy. But can anyone deliver it? God can. God wants His children to be joy-filled. Just like a father wants his baby to laugh with glee, God is not interested in putting a temporary smile on your face. He has no interest in giving you shallow happiness that melts when faced with adversity. God longs for us to experience a deep-seated, heart-felt, honest-to-goodness, strong sense of joy that can weather the most difficult of storms.
Peter referred to this joy in the opening words of his epistle in 1 Peter: “I am writing to God’s chosen people who are living as foreigners in the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia” (I Peter 1:1) Peter was speaking to persecuted Christians who had been driven from their cities and separated from their families. Their rights had been taken. Their property and possessions had been taken. Their futures were unsure. But their joy had not been taken. Why? In 1 Peter 1:8 (TPT) Peter says, “You love him passionately although you did not see him, but through believing in him you are saturated with an ecstatic joy, indescribably sublime and immersed in glory” The source of their joy? Jesus! And since no one could take away Jesus, no one could take their joy.
Each day can seem like the epitome of the mundane. It’s easy to sense joy in great events, but it is much harder to find it returning to the routine of work and school, and family. Unless your joy is in Jesus.
This week rediscover the joy each day, in the everyday things of your life — yes, even the red balloons. Because Jesus is in the details, every detail, we can enjoy Him everywhere, even in life’s everyday familiar routine.
- How/when do you find yourself hiding your true self from God? What would it look like for you to live openly before God?
- What are the obstacles to taking off our mask? What are the benefits?