Counting the Joys!

“Pastor, do you know that you have been my pastor all my life?”

Last weekend, I had the privilege of attending two high school graduations of two young ladies who I held in the hospital at birth and have now watched receive their diplomas. That’s one of the many joys of longevity in ministry in one location!

His wife said, “He wakes up in the morning singing, and he goes to bed singing!” These were the words of Gary’s wife, a long-time friend of mine, who retired from the pastorate of Victory Baptist Church, Whiteville, NC, last Sunday to move into other areas of ministry for the Lord. What a joy and tear-filled day it was of preaching, testimonies, sharing, fellowship (folk came from all across America) and eating!! And indeed, there was much singing throughout the day in the morning and afternoon services!! Psalm 147:1, Praise the Lord! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting. As Denise and I drove out of town, we said, “What a time of rejoicing we will have in Heaven! I believe we experienced a foretaste of it today!”

Later on Sunday night, we arrived in Raleigh, NC, for an overnight stay with a family that have become extremely dear to us and have ministered to our hearts in deep ways over the past years. As we pulled into the driveway, seated on the porch were two of their daughters waiting for our arrival with eager anticipation! They were a welcome sight that erased all the stress of interstate driving! That was the beginning of an oasis of joy and sweet fellowship in their “100 acre woods.”

The next day as Denise and I took the scenic route home, we made a stop in Boone, NC, for a stroll downtown. Upon entering Mast General Store, we were warmly greeted by a couple enjoying an overnight getaway in town. My wife and this lady recently attended the Ladies Prayer Advance in Roanoke, VA, along with a mutual friend. The smiles, the laughter, and the joy of a “happen-chance” meeting was a grace-gift from the Lord!

As we neared home, my wife and I stopped to visit a recently married couple from our church who just moved into their “new” home! Much of their belongings are still packed, but their smiles were fully unpacked! With great joy they took us through their little home to brag on what God had done! How cool to rejoice with them!

While out of town this past weekend, I received a text on Monday morning that said, “Hey brother, you missed a good service yesterday morning. Pastor Andrew did excellent work opening up Colossians 3, then tied everything together in 4:2-6. I was blessed. Had problems getting there . . . but it all worked out. Blessed by heart and the message was for me.” Praise the Lord for a joy-sharer!

Another text came from another source, “Trust your day has been one of great blessing! We had a good day at BCBC!” Once again, another opportunity to rejoice in the goodness of God!

Indeed, ministry and life is hard, perplexing, draining, and demanding at times, but we must not forget to count our blessings, our joys! They all come from the hand of God Who even permits the hard times.

So, stop right now, look back over the past few days, and remember your joys!

This would be a rewarding task for any believer no matter what state of life you find yourself in today!

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11)

Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart! (Psalm 32:11)

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