Faith Filled Family Magazine November 2016 - Page 77

ble. Later in his second letter to the Corinthians he describes his life as a disciple for Christ Jesus: Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure upon me of my anxiety for all the churches. (11:25-28) Not to mention numerous times he was imprisoned in chains for his beliefs, and eventually executed. The man obviously faced trouble head on numerous times. Yet, despite all that hap- pened to him, he never lost the sense of joy in his journey. Over and over again in his letters to the churches he helped to plant, he wrote about joy. What was Paul’s secret? Simply, He knew Jesus— not just about Him, but intimately experienced His presence. Paul’s deep faith told him that no matter what, Christ would always love him and never leave him. The all-knowing God wanted above all else an intimate relationship with him. But, can we today, with all the strife, hustle and anxiety our modern lives produce, retain the same joy? The answer is a resounding YES! Just as was the case with Paul, Peter and the countless number of Christians who have lived and died over the last two thousand plus years, we, too can have joy that knows no bounds. It is attainable because joy is not based on our human thoughts, emotions or desires. It is grounded in Christ, and monitored by the Holy Spirit living inside our souls. Joy is as constant and consistent as our Lord’s love, because our joy is the response to that love. “But, can we today, with all the strife, hustle and anxiety our modern lives produce, retain the same joy? The answer is a resounding YES! “ Thermostats can be programmed to keep a room’s temperature the same all the time. The air conditioning or heating will kick in and turn off as needed to maintain the same level of comfort no matter if it is 100 degrees or 10 below zero outside. That