THURSDAY, MARCH 12
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
ACTS 20:35 (NLT2)
SERVE THROUGH YOUR PAIN
In giving His life for us, Jesus endured tremendous physical and emotional pain because of the joy it would bring.
“Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne” (Hebrews 12:2 NLT2).
In God’s economy, giving and serving are always linked to joy. The Apostle Paul endured many trials in his missionary journeys. Despite difficult circumstances, he served and gave because of the joy it brought. In the face of intense trials, notice what Paul does and what Paul has.
“We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us… Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others” (2 Corinthians 6:8-10 NLT2).
Despite his circumstances, Paul served and gave. And as a result, he always had joy. Jesus told His disciples that “it is more blessed (happy) to give than to receive.” Selfishness is the primary joy-stealer that followers of Christ will battle. Start living for yourself, without regard for others, and watch your joy evaporate. Get the attention off yourself, start serving others, and watch your joy flourish.
If you are having a bad day, lend a helping hand. If you are stressed, ask someone how they are doing. Serve your way through adversity and come out the other side with joy. Jesus did it, and so can you.
How has giving brought you more joy than receiving? What current difficulties are trying to steal your joy? What are some activities you can do this week to help you shift your focus off self and onto helping others?