Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Easter (05/30/05)
TITLE: Prescription - Joy of Easter
By Randy Shaffer
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If I were a doctor Iíd prescribe steady doses of Joy. The beauty of seeing someone full of joy who once was depressed is awesome. You may be, and certainly you know someone who is always stressed out, depressed, or is extremely anxious. Now look in the mirror, or picture that person as being full of joy. Wow! What a difference. This transformation is more beautiful than all of the wonderful colors of spring, a rainbow, or a butterfly. To see a person lifted up out of the dumps is so wonderful. Thatís to say it creates a feeling of being full of wonder.
The only event imaginably more beautiful or more wonder-full wouldíve been to see our risen Savior, Christ Jesus. Imagine watching Him perform miracles, dumbfounding the religious leaders with His wit, and then seeing Him crucified. What a shock to see Him again just a few days later. Imagine walking with Him, talking with Him, eating with Him. They were fuller than full of wonder and joy. He defeated the fear of death. He gave then and gives all of us today hope for eternal life. Rising from that tomb provides a vision of eternal life in Heaven next to a stressed-filled life here on earth.
Someday Heaven will be our home if weíve asked Jesus for forgiveness and repent. Then our sins are covered by the blood He shed on the cross. We are totally forgiven because of what He did on Good Friday. But we no longer need to fear death because of what He did on Easter. If we can live without the fear of death, then why do we fear our circumstances? Letís take our eyes off the circumstances and focus on our hope for eternal future. Our hope grows through trials and steady doses of joy.
Is the transformation to being full of joy a choice? We can choose to grab onto hope and experience the joy of salvation. We can choose to sing praises to God and make time to thank Him for His gifts of grace, mercy and hope. We can count our blessings and name them one by one. We can choose to rejoice. Iím not saying that all of our bad situations will disappear. We may still experience stress, fear, and possibly depression. But we can choose to see them as trials to grow through.
Godís word says:
** My brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of any kind, consider it nothing but joy, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance; and let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4 (NRSV)
**We also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)
A prescription of joy is quite different than taking two pills per day. It is not likely that weíll overdose on joy. Joy is something that we take in through our minds that directly affects our whole being. We get joy as a result of rejoicing, singing praises, praying, worshipping, counting our blessings, and various other ways of putting positive and instructive thoughts into our mind and soul. We were created in Godís image so we have our mind, soul, and body. Healing our minds and souls helps us take better care of our bodies. Letís start by singing that childís song about having joy down in our hearts. Make sure the children in our lives know this song, and sing it with them every chance we get. Letís take steady dosages of joy daily for the rest of our lives.
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