The Joy of Giving

No matter how very tired I am, I always feel better after doing something nice for someone else. Being on the receiving end of an act of kindness is always nice, but there’s nothing like the warm feeling that you get when someone else expresses joy and appreciation for something that you did. Acts 20:35 reminds us of the words of Jesus, Who said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” And, He would know.

In Isaiah 53, Jesus was described as, “Despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3). Jesus knew what it was like to do without and deal with “life.” After fasting for forty days and nights, Jesus was hungry (Matthew 4:2). When He found out that his cousin, John, the Baptist had been beheaded, He tried to go off and be alone (Matthew 14:13). Imagine His grief. We know that He stopped to rest by Jacob’s well when traveling through Samaria, “being wearied with His journey” (John 4:6). When Peter denied Him three times before the rooster crowed twice, Jesus turned and looked at Peter, causing him to go out and weep bitterly. What disappointment! Can you imagine how He felt when “many of His disciples went back, and walked no more with Him?” (John 6:66) Jesus was betrayed by one of His chosen apostles, Judas (Luke 22:47). Even though Jesus was 100% God, He was also 100% human, and he endured many sorrows in His 33 years on this earth.

Yet, have you thought about some of the joys that He must have enjoyed when He gave to others? Think of the palsied man whose friends let him down through the roof. What joy the man and his dear friends must have expressed when Jesus told the man to “Arise, and take up thy bed and go thy way into thine house” (Mark 2:11) Their joy must have made Him feel good. We know that Peter fell down at Jesus’ feet, when he followed Jesus’ instructions and let down his net, catching so many fish that his boat began to sink (Luke 5:7). How encouraged He must have been at Peter’s willingness to follow His will. It must have felt good to present Jairus’ 12 year old daughter to her family, seeing their sorrow turn to joy (Mark 5:35-43). I’m sure that feeding those who were hungry and healing the sick brought joy as He was “being about My Father’s business. (Luke 2:51).

One thing that we do know – when Jesus was baptized, a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased. (Matthew 3:17). We also know that “God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). It truly is better to give than to receive. He proved it! Simply blessed, Courtney

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