Friday, December 9, 2016

Five Minute Friday: Joy

It is Five Minute Friday! This week the topic is joy! We all write on the same topic, and then we gather at Kate's blog to share our words. 

Christmas tree

Life with a chronic illness is hard. But it is not without joy. Joy is there to be found in the hard days, the stuck-in-bed days, the pain-filled days, and the lonely days.

I have been blessed by the joyful example of many different people. These people have helped me, and continue to help me, to live a life of joy.

Sara Frankl blogged while completely confined to her small condo, and through her blog she showed me how to live a homebound life with joy. Her sister, Laura, continues to tell Sara’s story and point others to the joy found in Christ. Laura is such a sweet encourager for me.

Kara Tippetts lived well, and died well, and showed the world how be joyful in the midst of suffering.

Arlene was a dear friend who was a godly example of joy to me in the few months that I knew her before she went to be with Jesus.

I recently met Andrew through Five Minute Friday. He is dying, and in his final months he is showing us how to choose joy in a very painful end of life. In fact, he is writing at Kate’s blog for today’s Five Minute Friday post!

I recently heard the testimony of Johanna Watkins, and she has encouraged me to keep a joyful perspective and to trust God no matter what.

I have a few chronic illness friends, most of whom I’ve never met in real life, but whom I keep in touch with through Facebook, emails, and texting. These friends are godly examples to me of persevering in suffering and choosing joy.

What a blessing it is to have godly examples from others who are suffering, and what a blessing it is to have godly friends who encourage me to keep choosing joy.

My ultimate example is the Lord Jesus Christ. “who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despising the shame” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus suffered more than I ever can or will. He looked to the joy ahead, and He endured the pain and suffering of the cross. He took my sin upon Himself so that my life could be redeemed for His glory.

Dear friend, He suffered for you too. He took the punishment that you deserve so that if you repent of your sins and place your faith in Christ, you too can be forgiven and spend eternity in Heaven! You too can have this amazing joy that Sara, Kara, and Arlene had in the mist of their suffering. You can have the joy that Andrew and Johanna have! You can have the joy that I have.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.
Hebrews 12:1-3

Who is an example of joy for you? 

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