John 13:1-30 We talked yesterday about rejoicing and being glad every day of our lives. True joy is not conditional. We may be going through distress and trials, but in the midst of this we can rejoice and be glad. One might ask, "How can I be happy when so much is going wrong in my life?" The answer to this question is given in our New Testament reading in John.
Jesus taught His disciples a great lesson. Although He was master, He became a servant and washed His disciples' feet. After He finished He said, "The servant is not greater than his Lord, neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him." Earlier Jesus told them that He came to earth to serve. After He washed their feet Jesus said, "If you know these things, happy are you if you do them." He was saying the way to true happiness was the way of serving others. I just had a tour of a wonderful senior citizens' center, and the one leading the tour told us how she became a volunteer. She said she and her husband came to the center to sign up for computer classes, and they have worked there every day since as volunteers. She leads the tours and her husband helps in the kitchen. She was a very joyful person. I have yet to see a happy selfish person.
When we are going through a period of affliction, trials, or testings, this is the time we need to turn our focus off of ourselves and onto the Lord and serving others. We need to ask the Lord, "Is there something I can do to help someone now?" There is always someone in worse circumstances than we are, and just by praying for such people, we will begin to feel we have a purpose in the trial we are experiencing. The Bible tells us we are to comfort others with the same comfort we have received. Our preacher just preached a wonderful sermon on "Without suffering or pain, we would never know joy." If we have never experienced God's comfort and mercy, we could never expect to give it to someone else.
Today ask the Lord if there is someone you can comfort with God's comfort. As you focus on others and serve others, a lasting happiness will invade your life.
Lord, is there someone I can cheer and comfort today? Is there something I can do for another that will make their burden lighter? If nothing else, I can pray for that one in need, and then my own situation seems less overwhelming. Thank You, Lord, for showing me the way to true happiness.
READ: 2 Samuel 2:12-3:39; John 13:1-30; Psalm 119:1-16; Proverbs 15:29-30