Feb 23, 2015 / Devotionals

Filled with Joy

“So they shook the dust off their feet as a warning to them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”

– Acts 13:51-52 (NIV)

Reading through Acts these verses jumped out at me today. Jesus commanded His disciples to shake the dust off their feet whenever they were rejected and leave that town and this is exactly what they were doing.

As I picture myself being rejected and envision something I’m passionate about and excited to share with others being ignored I imagine being upset, angry, frustrated, and discouraged. I get down whenever people I’m trying to be a light to seem to be unreceptive to me sharing what God’s done in my life.

It’s so easy to get discouraged based on the opinions and the rejection of other people – especially when it’s something we’re passionate about. This is why it’s so amazing the next verse we’re told the disciples were filled with joy. They didn’t let this bring them down. They had somewhere new to go. They had more people to share the good news with.

This seems kind of singsongy in my head but I think there’s a nugget of truth in this. I am challenged to live less focused on how people react to my passions and more focused on looking ahead to whatever’s next. I just keep coming back to the verse to remind me it’s not supposed to be easy:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

– John 16:33

We’re not promised that things will go our way and that we won’t face rejection. We are however shown through the verse in Acts that we can have joy no matter what our circumstances are. It’s ok to be joyful when life is at a low. It’s ok to be at peace when everything around you seems contradictory to that.

Joy is not determined by circumstances. No matter what I faced yesterday, no matter what happens today, no matter what the future holds I can be filled with joy!