3 I thank God, whom I serve, as my ancestors did, with a clear conscience, as night and day I constantly remember you in my prayers. 4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 2 Timothy 1:3-4
The Christian life has conscience, tears, and joy sprinkled throughout.
Having a clear conscience enables us to sleep well at night, or for that matter, to sleep at all. Relationships are squared away, no major sins in our lives, and a healthy relationship with God gives us a clear conscience.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “sometimes you just need a good cry.” The ladies reading this understand that phrase much more than men do. But sometimes life just beats down on us and the only antidote is prayer and a good cry. Paul recalled Timothy’s tears. Were they tears of sadness for them leaving or tears of joy that they had been together? We don’t know.
Lastly, certain things in life bring us joy. For Paul it was seeing Believers grow in the faith. I’m sure he had other things that brought him joy. What brings you joy in life? We need joy in our lives, every one of us does. Some, though, and I’ll never understand this, live joyless Christian lives. We’ve all seen them, and sometimes we just want to paste a happy face on them!
I’ve used this illustration before but one of the Believers in Sudan we met could have had the worst demeanor because the lot she had been dealt in life. Family members were killed in the civil war, they were persecuted for their faith, and she was taking care of several children without any visible means of support. She said to my wife, “I could be down about where I am in life, but I choose joy.”
Yeah, that’s the kind of faith I want.