Daily Encouragement: Day 238

From Handbook to Wisdom, Day 238


If we have any encouragement from being united with Christ,
if any comfort from His love,
if any fellowship of the Spirit,
if any affection and compassion,
we should also be like-minded, having the same love,
being one in spirit and one in purpose.
(Philippians 2:1–2)

We should all be of one mind and be sympathetic,
loving as brothers, compassionate, and humble.
(1 Peter 3:8)

Karl Barth observed in his Church Dogmatics that real joy is not meant to be hoarded by individuals, but shared by people in their relationships with others:

“It must be said that we can have joy, and therefore will it, only as we give it to others . … There may be cases where a man can be really merry in isolation. But these are exceptional and dangerous. … It certainly gives us ground to suspect the nature of his joy as real joy if he does not desire—’Rejoice with me’—that at least one or some or many others, as representatives of the rest, should share this joy. … We may succeed in willing joy exclusively for ourselves, but we have to realize that in this case, unless a miracle happens (and miracles are difficult to imagine for such a purpose), this joy will not be true, radiant and sincere.”

The pleasures of God’s many gifts are best appreciated and savored when others participate with us in their enjoyment and wonder. The wellspring of all joy is Jesus Himself, who told His disciples on the night he was betrayed, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full” (John 15:11).

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