Standing Firm: The Unshakeable Joy of the Apostle Paul

Acts 20:24
But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

Paul the Apostle had developed a level of spiritual maturity as a seasoned soldier of the Cross so much so that nothing but God Himself could “move” him. That is, nothing could sway him from either the place or the purpose to which he was sent. The enemy threatened, tortured, and tormented Paul every chance they could get, and yet Paul says, “But none of these things move me…”. In other words, he had a made-up mind, and NOTHING was going to change it. He was determined to finish his course. Not only was he determined to finish his course, but look at HOW he was determined to finish it…with JOY! Paul developed a closeness with The Lord that gave him a joy that was deeper than any pain or problem in his life. In fact, perhaps he may have meditated on this verse in Nehemiah 8:10b, which says, “…neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Dear reader, the life of the servant of Christ will often invite by its very existence an opposition from the enemies of Christ which may cause much affliction in this world. Our precious Lord will in fact send us into hostile territory to present His love to a lost and resistant world who will often literally hate us for doing so. Even still, we are to find our joy in knowing that the Lord is pleased, and not that men are appeased. When our source of joy is not in this world, then it can never be taken away! It is the author’s opinion that the very reason Paul had such a determination to walk on with God no matter how painful it became, was because of this deep abiding joy. To put it plainly, Paul could not be moved, because his joy could not be moved! What about you? What is your source of joy? Is it in pleasing The Lord, or appeasing those around you? The truth is, when we yield to the temptation of appeasing people, we are CONSTANTLY “moved”, because trying to please people is like trying to hit a moving target. Here’s why; people change. Not only will different people have differing demands, but many times the SAME person changes his own demands. Let us determine today to find our joy in Jesus alone!

~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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