6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit,
Now when I read this verse I have to admit that I thought, " I know a lot more verses about joy that I like better!" But then I started to try to understand it better and I think I get it now.
We have to find out a little about who this verse was written to. It was written to the church in Thessalonica. The church was being persecuted because of their faith. They were very evangelistic and loved the Lord very much and in the heart of adversity they still had joy.
Joy is more than just being happy; because I am sure that when they were being persecuted they were not jumping up and down with glee. But they were filled with a joy that only comes from God through the Holy Spirit. Now, I get that idea of the Holy Spirit giving us the supernatural. Thanks to the Lord who didn't leave us without a helper. The church in Thessalonica needed that supernatural power to help them through the hard times they were facing.
When we have the joy of the Lord it will sustain us even through the most difficult times of our lives. We will all face hardship at some point...it is the nature of living. Life is not fair, which is a hard thing to explain to a 7 year old with their big brown eyes looking up at you. We may never understand why we go through the things we do; but we can tap into the supernatural to help us. When we do we will receive a deep joy that will never leave, even in our darkest hour. In that deep joy we will find the hope that will carry us through.
So, as I ponder this verse it is exactly the kind of Joy that I want for my children. I want that deep joy that comes from the Most High through the Holy Spirit working in us and through us. Joy unspeakable and full of glory!
*"May my children be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit."
*by Bob Hostetler, it is excerpted from Pray! magazine issue #4, 31 Biblical Virtues to Pray for Your Kids