It's bad news ...

August 28th, 2017

Scroll through any newsfeed or watch any newscast on any given day and many of the stories will have one common denominator: They’re depressing. From stories of epidemics to terror attacks to global warming to conflicted governments, our local, national and global news is frequently filled with pain and sadness. In recent months, negative media coverage has been especially prevalent regarding the presidential election and Donald Trump’s time in office. According to a Harvard study, roughly 91 percent of news coverage related to President Trump has been negative or critical. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the coverage, finding joy in any genre of news is becoming more difficult.

Beyond national media coverage, and on a more personal level of news and reality, returning to school has begun to impose higher levels of stress and pain upon a growing number of students. A recent survey found that over 30 percent of American high school students reported feeling stressed and overwhelmed during the school year, which reflects a higher percentage compared to working adults.

So where’s the joy?

Such numbers and statistics are striking, especially when considering that our country is a land of plenty and seemingly offers infinite opportunity for joy. From smartphones to vacations to personal accomplishment and achievement, we instinctively strive to create joy by serving ourselves. Yet, such joy is often fleeting and leaves the pursuers with an insatiable hunger for more.

Jesus, on the other hand, taught that lasting joy is found only by looking outward. Loving God and neighbor was not only how Jesus summarized our purpose, but also, it’s in doing so that he said we would find our greatest joy. As Jesus taught and ultimately demonstrated by his death on the cross, joy can be found only when we are willing to serve something greater and more eternal than ourselves.

Question of the day: What has brought you great joy this summer?
Focal Scriptures: James 1:2-4; Genesis 25:27-34; John 15:9-11

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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