Daily Devotional for July 25, 2022

Yesterday, for our special music in the traditional worship services, Sean and Meredith sang The Prayer.
Before the first service, as they were rehearsing, I told them I had seen the sermon.  It was a real stinker and I was counting on their duet to make up for it.  They did.
In my seventeen years at our church, what Sean and Meredith sang ranks in the top five.  They were that good.
During the second service, as they sang their beautiful duet, I saw people in the congregation wipe away tears of joy.
This is not the first time I’ve seen tears in the sanctuary.
I’ve seen people wipe away tears as I preached but I think it is because they thought the sermon would never end.
As Buzz stood at the pulpit to announce the joys and concerns of our church, he said one of his joys was being able to hear Sean and Meredith sing in two worship services.  
After the service, Allison pointed out Buzz didn’t list getting to hear my sermon twice as a joy. 
Andrew apologized the Allison’s insensitive yet revealing comment.  He said he couldn’t do anything with his wife.  I agreed.  
This got me thinking.
While Buzz didn’t seem to think getting to hear my sermon twice was something to celebrate, the good news is he found something to be joyful for.  
One of the true hallmarks of Christianity is the ability to be joyful.  There is always a reason to give God thanks.
This does not mean every moment is bliss for those who follow Jesus Christ.  That is never the case.  But even in those horrible moments, there is a reason to give God thanks.
One of the most sacred and formative moments of my life came when my father thanked God for morphine as my mother left this world.  At the moment he was overwhelmed with grief and pain, he was able to look past his own hurt to see my mother no longer suffered.  For that I am eternally grateful.  It is the most important lesson my father has ever taught me.
To find joy does not mean bad doesn’t happen.  It means seeing when life is bad, God is good.
That’s what Paul meant by saying, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 4:4-7)
Prayer:  Dear Gracious Heavenly God, there are moments when I forget to thank you for my wonderful life.  Open my eyes to see there is always something to be joyful for.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen.
Because of Jesus, there is always a reason to be joyful.  That’s a good thing.
Just for the record, after the service, Patty handed me a gift bag and said, “This is for all these years of preaching the greatest sermons in the history of sermons.”
In the bag was the coolest t-shirt in the history of t-shirts.  It said, “The Sermonator.”
I am joyful for Patty.  Heck I’m even joyful for Buzz.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.
Tom Robbins