Wednesday, November 6, 2002

Acts 5:40-41

"And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name."
Acts 5:40-41

Yesterday we were speaking of joy, and here is some more mind-boggling joy... the apostles got thrown into jail, let out by an angel and told to go to the temple and preach... which they did.  Then the people who threw them into jail go and get them from the temple after they miss them in jail, think about killing them, decide not to, and beat them instead.  Now these men come out from being beaten and are *happy* about it... that they are worthy to suffer in Christ's name. :)  They have so much purpose and joy going on that they can't be distracted from it by little things like jail and beatings... they live for the joy, and want to give that same joy to other people.  Any kind of suffering pales before the depth of that inner confidence and happiness that they have... because of Christ, and because of the Holy Ghost, which they carry with them everywhere.   If we want to be protected from sadness and depression, we can find our happiness in the same places.  We're not perfect, and there will be little bubbles of despair that get to us sometimes... but we, because we know absolutely that God is there, and because we are working on keeping the Holy Ghost as our constant companion... we can look at those moments of despair and know that we are so close to goodness and light that Satan must be panicking, trying to get us off-track.  If we wait it out, and make no mistakes that will prolong those black moments, we soon surface again and can see more clearly the oceans of joy that are there for the swimming. :)  And someday there will be no black moments, because we'll be eating and breathing joy every moment, and they won't have any room to come into our lives. :)

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