During this season of Advent, we will be taking a break from our study in the Book of Mark and will instead offer daily devotionals for you to read aloud with your family, pertaining to this Advent season. We will resume our study of Mark in a few weeks.
Joy Done Well
“we . . . are workers with you for your joy; for in your faith you are standing firm.” 2 Corinthians 1:24
Jesus had worked faithfully with His father in the family workshop spending countless hours learning to use the tools of the trade. The days Jesus spent at His work bench covered with chisel shavings and sawdust had made him a skilled carpenter, crafting one-of-a-kind pieces. For the majority of His life, Jesus took joy through fully concentrating on seeing each piece brought to completion. Jesus found great joy in a job done well.
The years spent in the workshop gave shape to the methods of His ministry. You’ll notice the craft of a carpenter as He shapes the faith of others. Imagine Him using a pencil to draw out a blueprint for the cost of discipleship. You can hear Him as He takes a saw and cuts against the spirit of pride. Listen and you’ll hear the sound of a plane shaving away the heavy burden of religion. Lend your ear and hear the tapping of the hammer on the chisel, chipping away the unnecessary until all that is left is the image of the creator.
Watching Jesus work gives insight to joy. Joy is a condition in which our actions and talents are so absorbed in a creative task that we are set free from self-concern. Jesus teaches us that craftsmen are joyful when their skill is put to use making something useful and beautiful. The deepest joy is found through parts impacting the task in which we are completely engaged and fully in tune with the creative will of God.
The opposite of joy is not sorrow – it’s sin, which breaks fellowship between us and God. Joy cannot be found by seeking it. It’s a by-product of self-forgetful activity. It’s a fruit of the Spirit. It’s more than a bunch of artificially induced excitement and stimuli. Joy happens when a disciple is fully consecrated to God’s purpose and responsive to God’s love.
Have you given yourself fully to the tasks with which God has entrusted you? Will you start today?