“Don’t lost your joy in the midst of the junk.” Dr. Mark Bailey, President, Dallas Theological Seminary
In John 15:1-11, Jesus explains that the path to fruitful living requires complete attachment to himself. “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (4). By staying connected to Jesus and drawing our life and strength from him, we can experience true joy (11).
The problem we face is that we are easily distracted by all the “junk” of life. News about the latest shooting, Presidential debates, marriage and family issues, raising children, caring for aging parents, economic challenges, weather, aches & pains, misunderstandings, unanswered questions, criticism, stress, pleasing an unreasonable boss, satisfying a difficult client, loss, layoffs, … and much, much, more conspire to take our focus off Jesus Christ. We get weighed down by the problems and junk of life and we become negative, cynical, and critical. We lose our joy and chase after substitutes that promise happiness.
In an online course on the Gospel of John, Dr. Mark Bailey reminded his students to stay connected to Jesus. Only by abiding in him can we experience fruitful, meaningful lives. Only by abiding in Jesus can we experience true, lasting joy.
Don’t lose your joy in the midst of the junk.