Front Porch Stories: Finding Joy

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By KATHY BOHANNON, Special to The Shopper

Merriam-Webster defines the word “joy” as “The emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.” The source also suggests similar terms such as delight, gaiety and bliss.

The scripture in John 16:22 says, “… Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

Without a doubt, the global pandemic has produced much dismay. Surely, many may wonder how to find comfort, happiness and joy in these uncertain times. When the pandemic was first revealed to us, I was just about to have major surgery. My agenda for the next many months would be focused on recovery.

I’d planned to be home. I’d planned to come out of the recovery period better than I went in. What I didn’t plan on was that nearly a year later we would still be in the midst of a pandemic, but here we are.

We’ve all had sorrow at some point, sorrow that measures differently from person to person. A child having sorrow over a lost toy might be the only sorrow that child has experienced, so that is the child’s greatest sorrow. Sorrow continues throughout life, and often gains momentum. It’s something that can rule the heart if it is allowed. It’s like we need a promise of something better just to get through difficult times.

It’s awesome that we have that already. It’s here for every single person that desires it. It’s THE promise, the promise that is shared in several scriptures in the Bible, including the one above; John 16:22. In John 16, Jesus told His disciples He would be leaving, but also that He would return. He was their teacher and guide. Surely, they felt alone and afraid when they heard this. But He also explained that they would have sorrow followed by joy and rejoicing. His return would be filled with abundant joy.

Oh, the questions they must have had. I picture these guys listening to Jesus with concerned, furrowed brows, turning to one another as He tells them what is to come. They would have many questions. They would be perplexed at what He was telling them. They would see their future as uncertain. But there’s that promise of joy. It’s there, right in the scriptures. In John 16:33 Jesus tells his disciples, “These things I have spoken to you that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Wow. You won’t hear that from mainstream media. As a matter of fact, I haven’t heard anyone make any promises about our having peace or joy or cheer in this current global crisis. We are fed only fear. That’s because no person can promise joy like God can. John 3:16 tells us that God loves us beyond measure. He gave His only son for us, and by accepting that fact we can have assurance that we will not perish. We are promised everlasting life, and if that isn’t joyful, I don’t know what is.

So as I have moments of doubt, anxiety and concerns over the current state of affairs, I find comfort in the words that traverse all time. God said it, I believe it, and there is honest-to-goodness joy just as He promised.

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Kathy Bohannon shares her love of crafting on Facebook and on YouTube at Kathy Bohannon Creatively Blessed. She and her husband John live in west Newnan. She can be reached at [email protected].

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