We Are The Perfect Ones
On Sunday, Pastor Andy Jones shared a powerfully moving message on overflowing and invading joy. He asked this question: “Where does joy come from in the midst of terrible circumstances?”
His answer was personal.
He said, “For me, it comes from the core belief that God is with me and he is for me.”
Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. —Isaiah 41.10 NLT
By now, we’ve figured out that everything in life DOES NOT always go according to our plans. Hello!
However, even when deep in the middle of “plan B,” we experience an overflowing joy because we, at our very core, believe God is with us and he is for us.
There was a group of people in the Bible who were experiencing incredible hardship, yet demonstrated a joy that seemed shockingly out of place…
Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in his kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. They are being tested by many troubles and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. —2 Corinthians 8.1-4 NLT
This is quite the juxtaposition.
On one hand, you have the reporting of circumstances that the Macedonians were facing—they were being tested by many troubles and they were very poor.
On the other hand, you have the description of what was in them and coming out of them—they were filled with abundant joy, which overflowed in rich generosity.
You’ve probably heard the expression “hurting people hurt people.” I suppose there are times when this saying is true. But I’d like to suggest another expression that is true more frequently…
Hurting people bring healing to people.
There is a kinship, a deep sense of understanding and empathy, a solidarity that naturally rises in the hearts of those who understand—from their own personal experience—the pain that someone else is living with.
Henri Nouwen called this “The Wounded Healer.” Quoting Nouwen,
The great illusion of leadership is to think that man can be led out of the desert by someone who has never been there.
The people in Macedonia, although facing their own difficulty and shortage, WERE THE PERFECT ONES to care for, and bless, those who were going through a similar trial in Jerusalem. And they were happy to do it! In fact, they were so eager, they begged for the opportunity to give.
The Macedonians, at their core, believed that God was with them and for them. This core belief produced an overflowing joy—which resulted in significant generosity.
The evidence of their joy? They gave. They gave although they didn’t have enough themselves. Living in middle of their own “plan B,” they gave to help others who also had great needs.
I doubt that any of us are living out our perfect “plan A’s.”
Something tells me we have plenty of hurts, shortages, challenges, and troubles. Am I wrong?
And we are a people with the core belief that God is with us and he is for us. We have overflowing joy.
So WE ARE THE PERFECT ONES to step up and give from our hurts, shortages, challenges, and troubles in order to bless, strengthen, encourage, help, restore, and heal others who are going through a similar trial today.
We might be deep in “plan B,” but WE ARE THE PERFECT ONES for the task God has given us.
He has given us the opportunity to be part of the miracle. Why?
Because—WE ARE THE PERFECT ONES.
How did I get so lucky to live with a truly wise man such as you? I respect your mind and love your heart.