By Ron Bartanen
We are given an amazing picture in Acts 22:25 of two men—the apostle Paul and his fellow-laborer, Silas, as they “prayed and sang praises unto God.” What is so amazing about it is that they had been unmercifully scourged, put in chains and then thrown into a prison cell. Who would expect to see a joyful prayer-and-praise service in such an environment and under such circumstances! Paul and Silas had found what everybody desires—JOY. As a result, Luke records God’s response: an earthquake that sets them free, and a jailor and his household believed in Christ and were baptized.
Part of my ministry as a preacher of the Gospel is to point people to the true source of joy—Jesus Christ. Paul wrote the church at Philippi , “I shall continue with you all for your…joy of faith: that your rejoicing may be more abundant in Jesus Christ…” (Philippians 1:25-26), and encouraged them to “rejoice in the Lord always; and again I say, rejoice” (Phil. 4:4). He had found joy in Christ, and shared that joy with others.
True joy is not found in the passing pleasures of this world, but in Him who said, “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11). As someone once observed, “Joy grows on the Christian tree.” Have you found this joy?
- via THE SOWER, a weekly publication of the Arthur church of Christ, Arthur, IL. Ron Bartanen, who serves as minister and editor, may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.arthurchurchofchrist.com