The Weekly Word: Joy in the Presence of Enemies

Jesus lived in a land overrun by enemies. He formed friendships with people who doubted, denied, betrayed, and abandoned him. He studied and taught a Word that people ignored, misunderstood, and sought to silence. When He went into a house of prayer to talk with His Father, He found himself unhappily arrived in a den of robbers. Yet when this man of sorrows anticipated the custody of the cross, He announced plans for a feast with toasts and food and songs of celebration.

“We work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.”
— 2 Corinthians 1:24

Christ’s ministry on earth shapes our own sojourn in the world at Restoration Academy. Students, teachers, administrators, parents, and sponsors face frustrations and depressions. Are all these people our friends? Why do challenging assignments reappear incessantly without easing up? How can we manage the overlapping responsibilities crowding our schedules? Does our service bring restoration? Is work here merely our busyness?

Restoration Academy, like everywhere else, needs people to share joy together in Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself remains joyful because the Father and the Spirit share their joy with Him. Jesus-like joy will involve our whole community’s conversation together, our listening to one another, and our support of each other. May our confession together intertwine our lives with God and strengthen us in His joy so that we will resist sin and live in faithful obedience.

The Spirit arrays in Jesus’ flesh the burden of bearing the Father’s joy. We, in turn, share the man of sorrow’s joy when we set before us His life, receive His promise, follow Him, and endure our discontent with hopeful others sharing together His resurrection life.

Molly Stone