The Joy of the Lord

The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3

I must admit I absolutely adore and unequivocally agree with today’s Psalm passage. The Lord has done great things for me and I am filled with joy! You might ask what I have to be joyful about as I face the uncertain future of living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

To answer that question I turn to the Apostle Paul’s words in his first letter to the Thessalonians, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).” I can imagine Paul writing these wonderful words to the beloved believers in Thessalonica in spite of being beaten brutally, placed in chains countless times, and imprisoned in unspeakable conditions but through it all maintaining a spiritual sense of joy and contentment few of us ever experience because of his relationship with the risen Christ..

How did he maintain his joy? What was his special secret to spiritual contentment? Simply put, Paul was able to do everything and endure anything because Jesus Christ was his sole source of strength and solace. This is without a doubt the unfathomable power of Jesus Christ in an individual’s life. Once you completely commit your life to Him, you are able to be just like the Apostle Paul, content and joyful in all situations as you remember the great things God has done for you.

This is exactly how I maintain joy in the midst of the struggles brought on by living with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The Lord’s strength, support, and solace surround me like an electric blanket on a cold winter’s night. All around me it is dark and cold, but in the warm of His companionship, I am safe, joyful, content, and always thankful.

Whatever you do, don’t let your earthly circumstances rob your joyful relationship with Christ. Remember, be joyful always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances. The joy of the Lord is your strength and His strength is all you need!

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