“In this world you will have trouble.
But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33b, NIV

One study reports the average child laughs four hundred times a day. Do you know how many times the average adult laughs? Only about fifteen times. Ninety-six percent less! I suppose one of the reasons is that there seems to be less to laugh about as one faces the demands and challenges of adulthood.

For many adults the twenties are marked by a fear of commitment and relational uncertainty; the thirties, by having to come to terms with the experiences of youth; the forties, by learning to cope with all those dreams that have yet to come true. In the fifties the health industry tells us many will face their first chronic illness followed by a second for many before they are sixty. Instead of “happily ever after” for most of us, Yogi Berra got it right when he said, “The future is not what it used to be!”

Is that true for you? Do you find yourself feeling like the future just is not as bright as it used to be? Then hear the words of Jesus just before he walked through the darkest valley of his entire earthly life. “In this world you will have trouble.” This is Jesus’ way of telling you life is not fair. You do not live in a happily-ever-after kind of world. You live in a troubled world filled with troubled people who live troubled lives. But in spite of that you can choose joy. “Be of good cheer! I have overcome the world,” Jesus says. (John 16:33, KJV) Joy is a choice. Jesus chose the joy of faith and it pulled Him through the darkness of crucifixion. Choose joy today and let Jesus share His victory with you.

QUESTION: When have you experienced the power of choosing joy? What did you learn from that experience?