By Glenn Miller
GOD’S WORD: “I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds.” – 2 Corinthians 7:4
As a child of the seventies, I remember watching some of the more popular sitcoms and television shows of prime time; shows like “Charlie’s Angels”, “Three’s Company”, “Different Strokes”, “Andy Griffith” and “Gilligan’s Island”. Those have all been replaced with reality shows today, but thanks to today’s TV LAND station, I’m able to revisit them.
One such show that seems to be on TV LAND quite a bit these days is the sitcom “Good Times”, starring John Amos and Esther Rolle, in addition to comedian J.J. Walker. It portrayed a family from the Chicago ghetto that, like many families during the difficult economics of the seventies, never seemed to get a break to get ahead. They lived in the projects, were lucky to find minimal paying jobs, had to make their meals stretch from one day to another, but despite all this, they were a happy family; full of love for one another and one that trusted in God to hold them in their times of need. That was a time when it wasn’t taboo to mention words on prime time like “God” and “Jesus”. There was even one episode where J.J. drew a depiction of a black Jesus and the entire show explored the message of faith in God and how one relates to Jesus… something that would never make it past the network censors today.
What this show did, if anything, was to portray in drama what Paul meant when he wrote, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”. Despite the negative circumstances of the world beating down upon us, the hope that we have in Christ and the joy that is ours from having been transformed into His likeness, we can remain steadfast in our JOY regardless of what hard times may come. Happiness is fleeting, but JOY, when forged by faith, is firm and undaunted by difficult times.
Being a Christian isn’t about being a select individual that is destined for an easy-going, perfect life. Being a Christian is about surrendering our lives to God and being willing to take up our cross, no matter where that may take us. The transformed person in Christ has joy and will keep his joy because he knows that nothing… circumstances, situations, cranky bosses, bad hair days… can take away that joy. It can only be taken away if we lose our faith in God’s promises and begin to doubt God’s saving power and grace. And that choice is ours to make.
Christ has given you the gift of JOY and wants you to accept it this day; to live in it and wallow around in it!
Go ahead! Take a big heapin’ helpin’ of it! Good times are awaitin’!!