Ten a.m., Wednesday, March 12 – A gathering of like-minded pilgrims. Music permeates the room, uniting hearts in a singular focus. Amid the dim lighting, words of truth adorn the walls, reminding the faithful that “as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him.” It is a time of encouragement, commitment and sweet life.
Forty minutes later, chapel ends, the doors to the Psalm Center open, and people disperse. Some go to class, others to work. They leave encouraged and with renewed trust in God. The sun makes every tree come alive with light. But how long will this hope last? How long before the clouds come rushing in to cast shadows upon their joyful hearts?
For some, it is only a matter of minutes; they spill their coffee, and the professor in their next class speaks in monotone. Or maybe the rain holds off until 11 p.m., when they realize a paper’s due at 8 in the morning. “There is joy in Christ,” they tell themselves. But inwardly they sigh.
Yet some students live differently. Maybe you know them? They too spill their coffee, sit through monotone lectures, and write papers at 11 p.m. Yet rain never seems to fall on their hearts. They don’t complain or ask for sympathy. Why? Because they’re too busy encouraging those around them. They see their work as meaningful in God’s eyes and find joy in the mundane. They don’t hide their feelings or act fake, but they genuinely see life from a different perspective.
These kinds of people remind me that life with Christ should be victorious. They’ve learned how to put into practice the secret to being content (Phil. 4:13), and they find joy in God’s presence (Ps. 16:11) at all times. I am thankful for these people in my life.
Last Wednesday’s chapel was a timely reminder to focus on Christ. While He went through tremendous suffering, Hebrews 12:2 says that He endured the cross “for the joy set before Him.” My goal during this pre-Easter season of Lent is to know the joy of Christ more fully.
What is your goal?