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Pursuing Joy

February 18, 2020
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“I want to know Christ…” (Philippians 3:10, NIV 1984).

 

He had been through a thousand troubles in his life, none of his own doing. Lost loved ones, cardiac surgeries, severe accidents, loneliness. He lived with chronic anxiety and loved the Lord. He passed me in the hall, and after I asked him about his well-being, he said, “I just want that peace and joy that Jesus promises us.” Having walked with him through many of his difficulties, I knew that simple encouragement would not be helpful. So, I told him, “My recommendation for you, John, is that you quit seeking the peace and joy that Jesus can give you. Let them go as targets for your life. Just go after Jesus. The peace and joy will follow.”

 

Most of us seek joy and peace in our lives. Many of us seek Jesus so that we might find these sometimes-illusive treasures. Sometimes we might even make Jesus a means to an end, using Him for the good He can bring to our lives: good such as eternal life, peace, joy, delivery from troubles, etc. Certainly, Jesus is the way to such treasures.

 

But the true treasure God would have us seek is Jesus Himself.

 

While searching for meaning in a concentration camp, Viktor Frankl came to realize that we may miss happiness if we make it the target for our lives: “Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue, and it only does so as an unintended side effect of one’s dedication to a cause greater than oneself or as the by-product of one’s surrender to a person other than oneself.”

 

Joy and peace for our lives as Christians come not from pursuing joy and peace, but from pursuing and surrendering to the Christ who is the source of all joy and peace.

 

Dear God,

Let me know you—and let me let go of all that keeps me apart from you.

Amen

Al Weir, MD

About Al Weir, MD

After leaving academic medicine, Dr. Weir served in private practice at the West Clinic in Memphis, Tennessee from 1991-2005 before joining the CMDA staff as Vice President of Campus & Community Ministries where he served for three years from 2005-2008. He is presently Professor of Medicine at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Program Director for the Hematology/Oncology fellowship program. He is also President of Albanian Health Fund, an educational ministry to Albania where he has been serving for 20 years. He is the author of two books: When Your Doctor Has Bad News and Practice by the Book. Dr. Weir’s work has also been published in many medical journals and other publications. Al and his wife Becky live in Memphis, Tennessee, and they have three children and three grandchildren. Dr. Weir is currently serving on CMDA's Board of Trustees.

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