Let me give you a word that everyone in America is chasing. It's a word that's as elusive as a greased pole. Sometimes we don't know how to get it, but we all know when it's there. The Bible speaks of it as our strength.
The word? Joy.
In February of 2006, an autistic high school senior named Jason McElwain taught his entire school a lesson on the reality of joy. Jason had served as the basketball team manager for three seasons, diligently fetching water, catching rebounds, and mopping up sweat.
However, for the last game of the season, Jason's coach decided to reward the young man's efforts by allowing him to suit up. Then, with the team ahead by 20 points and only four minutes to go, the coach put Jason in the game.
Jason badly missed his first two shots, but his third was a charmÂa 3-point swish. As soon as the ball went through the net, the entire gymnasium erupted with applause. But Jason wasn't done yet. He went on to hit a total of six 3-pointersÂa Greece Athena High School recordÂto finish with 20 points in just over four minutes.
With each basket, the crowd became more enthusiastic. By the time Jason hit his last shot, everyone was jumping up and down in a frenzy of excitement, happiness, and disbelief. As soon as the game ended, the bleachers emptied onto the court as the crowd gathered around Jason, and his teammates hoisted him onto their shoulders.
Speaking after the game, Jason's mother said: "This is the first moment Jason has ever succeeded and could be proud of himself. I look at autism as a Berlin Wall, and he cracked it." But Jason's success touched many more lives than his own, as those who celebrated with him experienced the selfless joy of delighting in others.
As a follower of Christ, I know that my joy ultimately comes from a relationship with God. The "joy of the Lord" is my strength.
Despite the obstacles that we face, we cexperiencence a godly joy, not for the circumstances we find ourselves in, but in the knowledge that God is with us in the midst of our circumstances.
You can make it this day. You can be an overcomer. May the joy of the Lord give you the encouragement that you need this day.
23 hours ago