What does the word ‘Joy’ mean to you? Happiness? A good feeling? Or is it something more? When we look at the Bible we see that joy isn’t just about being happy for a few hours. Joy is bigger. Joy is deeper than happiness, wider than contentment, greater than fulfilment.
Get inspired by our mate Jasper from Summer Madness as he reflects on the story of Douglas, a church leader from Iraq.
1. Where or who do you look to to find happiness?
2. Who are the people who love you simply because you are you? How do they make your life better? Spend a while thanking God for them.
3. At the end of the video, Jasper says that true joy is knowing (a deep knowing) that we are loved by the Father. We all find things other than God to try and make us happy, but we’ll never know true joy until we can know God’s un-ending love. Spend some time asking God to show you how much he loves you.
4. Pray for Douglas. He knows God’s love, and is trying to share that with people who have lost everything. Ask God to strengthen him, and many like him, who are risking their lives to shine God’s love to others.
5. Ask God to help you be more like Douglas – being joyful no matter what you face, sharing God’s love with those in need.
Feel free to use this video – and all the others we have on the site, in a small group or youth group as a discussion starter. Use the questions above (and any else you can think of) to get some thoughts going and spend time praying about your attitudes, and for the church in Iraq as a response.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.