You never saw him, yet you love him. You still don't see him, yet you trust him—
with laughter and singing. Because you kept on believing,
you'll get what you're looking forward to: total salvation.
1 Peter 1:8-9 (The Message)
This week's lesson was on JOY... an emotion that should be an undercurrent in everything you do - because when you become a Christian, that question of "Where do I go after this life?" is settled for you. When you accept Jesus into your heart - when you make the conscious choice to believe - then you've just been granted your ticket to Heaven. This weight that is lifted off of your shoulders should allow for a JOY to permeate everything you say and do. Furthermore, this sure knowledge of where Christians go after death, should make the death of a loved one a bit easier.
Yeah... I just said that... easier.
And yet, whenever a loved one dies, we are overcome with grief. It's hard to be "joyful" when we are facing the loss of someone close to us. When my aunt died, I felt the pain, physically, in my gut... and I dreaded telling my then-4-year-old son the news. Great Annie had lived with my family for over 20 years - she was like a 2nd mother to me and a 2nd grandmother to my kids. But, Jack was able to find joy in her death - as evidenced by this layout:
I've blogged about this story before - that out of a child's mouth came true wisdom that day. That is the JOY the Bible is talking about. :)