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“Working for Your Joy” (A Study of 2 Corinthians 1:24)

20 May

Friends: If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you know that my friend Frank (in New Jersey) and I have been doing an email Bible study for over a year. We read the same chapter every day for a week — and then send a brief email of encouragement to each other. We’ve completed most of the epistles of the New Testament — and it’s been a great discipline for both of us.

We’re now working our way through 2 Corinthians. Here’s my outline for several verses in chapter one:

“Working for Your Joy” (A Study of 2 Corinthians 1:24)

Notice the words “we work with you for your joy.” What a fascinating statement. Joy is WORK! And sometimes we need others to assist us in achieving that joy. The Darby translation renders this verse as “Not that we rule over your faith, but are fellow-workmen of your joy . . .” Fellow-workmen. We can join others and labor for their joy.

The Living Bible has the following translation: “I want to be able to do something about your joy: I want to make you happy, not sad.” Joy is deeper than happiness, isn’t it? Happiness often depends on happenings. Joy is much more solid, grounded, resistant to the joy-killers that surround us. [I’m working on a short book on the uses of “joy” in Philippians tentatively called “Finding Deep Joy in a Sad, Shallow World”].

Please note Paul’s justification for his laboring for the joy of the Corinthians: “because it is by faith you stand firm.” When we waffle in our faith, when we collapse under the attacks of the world around us and the doubts within us, we lose our joy. But God wants His people — you and me! — to stand firm, to lean on our trust in Christ, to be people of contagious joy!

Today’s Challenge: Got anybody who is working for your joy? Are you laboring to help others re-discover and re-deploy their joy in knowing Christ? It’s time to get to work — and do so joyfully!

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2020 in joy

 

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