2 Corinthians 6:8 …We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; 9 as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, but see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing  

St Paul here reminds his congregation at Corinth of the difficulties that he and some of his associates in ministry had been through…yet they were always rejoicing!  Joy can be an emotion that spontaneously arises at, and in, wonderfully serendipitous times and circumstances. Thank God for those delights. More significant by far though is the lifestyle joy that exists and persists when we learn, by much practice, to choose to rejoice based on the faith that we have in God and the facts that we know about who we are as God’s beloved children.  Here’s some “picture language” to illustrate: Years ago, when going cell to cell at the Alameda County jail I used the illustration of a simple train consisting of an old-style locomotive, labelled FACT. Then came the coal car, labelled FAITH, and then the caboose, labelled FEELING.  The caboose is a nice convenience and supports a warm FEELING, but has no power to move the train. And even though that caboose of good FEELING sometimes follows at the rear of the train, it is not essential. And so, “don’t worry, be happy” may make a good bumper sticker, but the practice of “rejoice always” is a God- grounded life strategy.    Pastor Bill

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