Affliction and Joy

Affliction and Joy

I was reading in 1 Thessalonians the other morning and got hung up on verses 6-7 of chapter 1.

And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. 1 Thessalonians 1:6-7

Amazing…

they received the word

Are you ‘receiving the word’ regularly? Now may be a good time to pick up your Bible more consistently.

in much affliction

(from dictionary.com… affliction – a state of pain, distress, or grief; misery.) I don’t know many who aren’t feeling some affliction right now.

with the joy of the Holy Spirit

To be clear, this joy was not from their flesh, it was not because of their circumstances, it wasn’t laughter because someone told a joke. It was joy, inexpressible and glorious joy (1 Peter 1:8) that is possible in excruciating circumstances only because the Holy Spirit dwells in us when Christ is our Lord.

you became an example

Yep! That’s it! Others are drawn to the example of someone (like you!) who is joyful as you engage the Word of the Lord even in the midst of affliction.

So, now may be the time to step away from your phone or computer, pick up your Bible and hear from the Lord. Yes, pick up a paper Bible and read… Psalm 23, Psalm 91, the book of John… let your spirit be refreshed by his word before you refresh your screen for the latest news.

Ask the Lord to give you joy as you receive the Word in these troubling times. And when others ask about why you are joyful, be prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you… (I Peter 3:15)