The cold and dreary winter can sometimes wear on a person. We start to feel a little low, like the clouds that hang low over the dead landscape. We hear the phrase, "Choose Joy", like it's something we can just conjure up. But that never seems to work for me.
A few days ago I read these verses that Jesus spoke to his disciples just before he was crucified.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Now remain in my love.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love,
just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.
Now notice this next verse--
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete.
So to have complete joy, we just need to obey Jesus' commands.
Now you may be thinking, obey a bunch of commands? How could that bring joy?
Check out the next verse--
My command is this:
Love each other as I have loved you.
I don't know why these verses never registered with me before,
maybe they did and I just forgot, but it makes perfect sense.
If we love each other, with true love like Jesus has for us, then our lives will be full of joy! What is the most common cause for discouragement in our lives? Isn't it usually people problems? But if we are loving each other (and that means loving everyone) then our lives will be much happier because we aren't spending all that time being mad and annoyed at people that bug us.
Remember what true love looks like?
it does not envy
it is not rude
it is not self-seeking
it is not easily angered
it keeps no record of wrongs
it does not delight in evil
it rejoices with the truth
it always protects
it always trusts
it always hopes
it always perseveres
it never fails
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
"Does Jesus care when my heart is pained
Too deeply for mirth and song,
As the burdens press, and the cares distress,
And the way grows weary and long?
Oh, yes, He cares, I know He cares,
His heart is touched with my grief;
When the days are weary the long nights dreary,
I know my Savior cares."
~Frank E. Graeff~