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Thought For The Week - 20-03-23

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

I was thinking about what to write this week to send out to all our wonderful schools and partners and joy came to mind.  I had a little battle with myself about writing about joy as I know I have written about it before; however, I concluded we can never have enough joy in our lives.

So, when I say ‘joy’ what am I actually thinking about? One thing I can say I am not talking about is happiness; happiness is based on feeling, it can be something good that happens that makes us feel great or could be described as the absence of sadness and grief.  Happiness and sadness are often based on the circumstances around us while joy is something different.  I am grateful that joy is not based on feeling throughout the day as my feelings can sometimes be quite different depending on what has happened in the day, how much food I have eaten or perhaps the amount of sleep I had the night before.  Joy, however, is deeper – it is something that cannot be changed by the circumstances around me.  It is deeper and something much more permanent, a gift from God as the verse states above.

So, when joy is in short supply, what should we do?  Maybe we need to recognize that joy is a gift from God; in John 16:22 Jesus talks of an eternal joy, a hope to come:


Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.

John 16:22


The context of this verse is that Jesus is going to leave the disciples, but the grief they feel for that will turn to joy, just as the pain of childbirth turns to joy.  They will see Jesus again and be joyful – there is an eternal hope that joy will come again.  But what about now, how do we have joy now?  Whatever this world throws at us we can trust a God who has done great things and in a God in whom we can be glad and rejoice in our circumstances today. For me this is where I find my joy, in an eternal hope that whatever happens today I know will not disappear.  So how about you?  Where do you find your joy? On the good days and the bad days, what sustains you?  I pray that the God of hope fills you with joy and peace today.

from—Lynsey Norris, Assistant Director of Education


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