Grateful for Reminders of Joy

For followers of Jesus, people are reminders of joy.  People are gifts of grace. 

My family is in the midst of a unique season of ministry transition.  This has had us reconnecting with a few of the people that God has allowed us to encounter over 23 years of ministry.  Since June 6 we have driven approximately 2300 miles. We have met people in backyards, homes, parks, restaurants, video chats, and phone calls. After every single conversation, my wife and I have walked away reminded that we have been on the receiving end of the grace of God and filled with more joy because of the journey we have experienced with people. We are wealthy with friendships!

All month I have been thinking about what the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians, 

“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers…”

1 Thess. 1:2

“For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?  Indeed, you are our glory and joy.”

1 Thess. 2:19-20

Paul understood that the way to view people was through a heart of gratitude.  He did not see them as a means to an end or an inconvenience.  He saw them as family. Though people may have been challenging at times, he knew it was worth it to stay the course of love with them. He knew that God was entrusting those people to him and that his job was to love them and point them to Jesus. People were his “glory and joy.”

I am more grateful today than ever for the people we have had the privilege to walk with in any way over the past 23 years. We did not deserve to cross paths with them but God allowed us to. We have done nothing great, but we have been blessed. Hopefully we have helped them grow a little closer to Jesus along the way. One day when Jesus asks us, “what is our hope, our joy, or crown”, it will be so humbling to point to so many. What an undeserved gift.

My prayer is that all of us who call ourselves disciples of Jesus would grow in our gratitude for the joy of people. I pray that we would all have people that we can call our “glory and joy.” 

Maybe there is someone you need to tell today that they are your joy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s