Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Athletics are full of emotion. Excitement, enthusiasm, disappointment, happiness and joy are all part of the competitive experience. Paul reminded Christians at Philippi to rejoice in the Lord, and the message is the same for us today. But we live in a difficult world with real battles. As John 10:10 tells us, “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy.” What is the thief after? Not anything that can be seen in the physical—no, he wants to steal the joy in our hearts.
We must recognize, though, that happiness is not the same as joy. Happiness is a direct result of what happens in our lives. Joy comes as a result of trusting that God has everything under control. His Word tells us that when we acknowledge Him and trust in Him, we’ll experience a peace that surpasses all understanding (see Philippians 4:7). God knows what we need. He guides our steps—our happiness and our joy—despite what the world and our trials try to tell us. The Lord uses each difficult situation to help bring us to the next level and increase our trust in Him
But John 10:10 also tells us that Jesus came in order that we might have life—and have it in abundance. In fact, He offered His own life in death so that we might live each day fully and abundantly with Him! That abundance is not about money but is found in the joy that results in knowing that, no matter what, He loves us and will use each experience in our lives to fulfill His purposes.
As coaches, we’re filled with joy when we believe that God is at work in our lives, even if we might not see it in the physical. Because God is trustworthy and faithful, we can join Paul in rejoicing in the Lord always! When we do, our hearts are filled with an abundant life that no thief can ever steal!
1. What brings you joy and happiness?
2. How would you define “abundant life”?
3. How can you develop the fruit of joy more fully in your life?
I pray, Lord, that Your joy would spill over into all areas of my life so that others might experience Your life in Jesus! Amen.