We have many birds. The one that has brought the greatest joy is a little crippled bird named “Baby.” This little parakeet was a givaway because he was born with a bent foot. The breeder had him in a cage away from the rest of the healthy ones. When I saw him in the dark corner I knew that if I didn’t rescue him his owner would destroy him somehow. When I asked him if I could have him he said…”Of course, it’s yours, free of charge.”
Our little joyful bird is so full of life that he has shown me what contentment is all about. He plays with his “twin” in the mirror all day long; pecks at his reflexion constantly as if he is playing tag. He didn’t grow a tail like the others, but doesn’t seem to miss one. He can’t fly like the others but that doesn’t seem to bother him. He is happy to be alive, enjoying each day as if it is his last. He has learned to be content in his little cage with just himself. Never wanting anything but seeds and water. What a lesson to be learned from this little crippled bird named Baby.
Sixteen times, Paul exhorts his readers to be joyful—16 times! When Paul said that he could be content “in any and every situation,” he truly meant everything – even the tough times of testing. In 2 Corinthians 11:24-27, he lists some of the tough times that he has endured: “Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.” (2 Corinthians 11:24-27)
Stop thinking that you will have joy after you buy a new house, after you get married, after you buy a better car, after your in-laws treat you right. Don’t put off joy until after everything goes your way; decide to have joy now! For you can have joy whatever the circumstances!
If you feel like you are too broken to be joyful look at these things and the results;
Five broken things in the Bible and the results achieved by them:
1) Broken pitchers (Judges 7:18, 19) and the light shone out
2) A Broken Box (Mark 14:3) and the ointment was poured out
3) Broken Bread (Matt 14:10) and the hungry were fed
4) A Broken Body (I Cor. 11:24) and the world was saved
5) A Broken will (Psalms 51:17) and a life of fulfillment in Christ
“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.”
Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.”
Although at first it may seem difficult, it is very possible to be content even during harsh circumstances. Paul said, in Philippians 4:11-12 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
Rejoice in the Lord! Rejoice in knowing that there is nothing that can compare to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus. This is the greatest Joy of All!!