If you spend any time at all listening to news and current events these days you would have to admit the world can be a dark and scary place.  Wars, natural disasters, economic upheaval, disease, crime, political and social chaos, relationship troubles, financial difficulties–if we pay attention to very much of it, we might even start believing the hopelessness we hear.

Oh, I don’t want to discount the hard things each one of us has to face in our lives.  They’re very real.  But the truth is that’s only part of the story.

The Apostle Paul was also familiar with trouble.  He personally experienced great difficulty in his life, from physical beatings to near drowning, to prison stays and more.  And still he was able to encourage people to find the joy in life.  To intentionally choose it, in spite of trouble.  From his prison cell under the city of Rome (where scholars think he could have been knee deep in sewage) Paul wrote:

“Always be full of joy in the Lord.  I say it again–rejoice!”  Philippians 4:4

That’s the way I want to live, too.  Finding joy on the journey, even when there’s trouble around me.  I’ll admit I haven’t always been successful in my attempts.  And sometimes I’m sure I haven’t even tried.  But I want to!

How was Paul able to keep finding joy, even though surrounded by unpleasant and even dangerous circumstances?  How can I live joyfully on a consistent basis?  That’s the question I want to explore on this blog.

I’m glad you’re here.  I hope you’ll join in the conversation.

To joy on the journey,

Deborah Barber