I recently had a conversation with someone who seemed to suggest that we need to be "happy clappy" when it came to the challenges of life. Indeed, this person even accused me of that. I don't know him to well and it was a "virtual" conversation (online) but he couldn't have been more wrong. A disciple isn't someone who denies the existence of pain and struggle. Paul never suggested that. He did say, though, that we should take joy in all things, even our suffering. Suffering produces endurance. Endurance produces character and character, hope. Hope will never fail us. With an attitude like that, then we begin to grow into an understanding that happiness is based on circumstances. When circumstances are good, our happiness is present. When circumstances change, so does our attitude. Joy, on the other hand, is based on something so much more profound. Joy, as a believer, is based on a relationship. Our relationship with Jesus. There's nothing "happy clappy" about that. But there is something that allows us to escape a negative mindset and the regular experience of throwing pity parties.
Join me this weekend (remember we have three worship experiences: Saturday at 6 PM and Sundays at 8:00 and 10:30 AM) as we examine how we can move beyond being yanked about because of circumstances and enter into a deeper level of discipleship. I'm looking forward to it and as always, bring a friend!!