Our visit with joy has been short this month! But the Christmas season is naturally a good time to continue focusing on this fruit of the Spirit.
I thought it would be appropriate to end our series on joy with the following verse.
“But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” ~Acts 20:24
What a powerful verse! What better goal could we have as Christian women than to finish our course with joy?
We each have a different path through life. That path takes different twists and turns as the years pass. Right now, you could be a working single, a newlywed, or a mom with small children. You might be an empty nester, a grandmother with young grandchildren, or some stage in between. Whatever our path or “course” today, we can, with the Holy Spirit’s help, walk it joyfully. We don’t know which day will be our last.
Yet assuming we live into our later years, how sweet it would be to move through our final days with joy in our hearts. Does that necessarily mean that the “finish” of our course, the end of our lives, will be pleasant, humanly speaking? It could be. Or it could involve poor health, a long-term sickness, or a host of other unpleasant things we don’t want to think about!
As far as we know, Paul lived his last days as a prisoner. Not the outwardly joy-producing ending one might wish for. But he says that he didn’t “count his life dear.” In other words, the only measure for the value of Paul’s life was in how he could use it to complete God’s will for him. His ministry was to share the gospel, and to be a testimony to the grace of God. Fulfilling that calling with a joyful spirit was Paul’s goal.
As we’ve discussed before, it’s not circumstances that should determine our joy. Joy is the fruit of the Spirit that’s grown in our lives as we trust God, believe His Word, and serve Him. So no matter how many years God gives us, I pray that at life’s close, we’ll be able “to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” As we reach the end of our own path, may we be a testimony of God’s grace, and evidence that by the joy we know deep in our souls.
Thanks for looking at joy with me this month! Below I’ve listed all the posts in this series for quick reference. I hope you’ll join me next week as we begin talking about peace.
3 Ways to Find Joy
7 Truths About Finding Joy in God’s Word
Add Some Joy to Your Service
I want to finish my course with joy! What a wonderful goal to aspire to! I want to be one of those people who are full of joy no matter what life — or God — throws at her, but I know that I need to practice it now while things are relatively easy. 🙂
My thoughts exactly! I’ve known people who had joy in the midst of very trying circumstances, and recognize that they are/were a blessing to me – and I hope I can be that same way!!
I, too want to finish my journey with the Joy of the Lord. As the Bible says, weeping endures for a night and joy comes in the morning. Right now, I still have the weeping and I’m grateful that the Lord knows my heart and is still holding me thru these emotionally difficult days. Thank you for this, Tracey. I need to be refocused,
Yes, the Lord does know your heart – and how tender He is with His children when they’re hurting!! Continuing to pray for you.
Yes!!! I always try to remember “God is more interested in changing me than changing my circumstances.”
I like that quote as well! Helps me remember what the eternal perspective is in my trials.