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28 April 2023 ‘I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have.’ John 15:11 NCV

Jesus said, ‘I have told you these things so that you can have the same joy I have and so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy.’ It’s a reminder to us that if we let it, life, and particularly stress, can drain us of our joy and leave us feeling empty, dull, and discontented. There are so many big stresses in life that we’ll need to deal with, but often we can let the small, insignificant things irritate us to the point of stress. Things like getting stuck in traffic, somebody giving us a wrong look, waiting in a slow-moving queue, overcooking a meal, waiting for a phone to charge up, discovering a spot, making an honest mistake… it’s so easy for us to lose perspective and overreact to these sorts of things. The real problem is we have unrealistic expectations. That’s not how God wants us to live! If we want to experience the joy Jesus promised, we need to do these two things: 1) Accept that sometimes we can get uptight because we have a fixed idea of how life should be. 2) Acknowledge that our expectations can cause a lot of our frustration. When we keep expecting things to always be a certain way and they’re not, we’ll always be upset. Why not give this idea a go: try approaching life today without all those expectations. For example, don’t expect everybody to be friendly – then when some are, you’ll be delighted! Don’t expect your day to be hassle-free; when trouble comes, look up and say, ‘Thank You, God, for giving me another chance to turn to You for strength and wisdom.’ Rather than swimming against the tide, let’s learn to flow with it. It’ll help life feel that bit more enjoyable. And not only that: other people will enjoy being around us more.


You can rise above worry (2) Saturday 18 May
You can rise above worry (1) Friday 17 May
Have you been tempted by pornography? Thursday 16 May
S.H.A.P.E. (5) Wednesday 15 May
S.H.A.P.E. (4) Tuesday 14 May
S.H.A.P.E. (3) Monday 13 May
S.H.A.P.E. (2) Sunday 12 May

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