Teaching Point
God loves us intimately and walks with us throughout every moment of our lives. God desires for us to enter into an authentic relationship with Him that will lead to everlasting joy.

Opening Questions
Think about a time in your life where you were excited and joyful in one of your relationships – with a parent, grandparent, sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle, friend, etc.

  • What was happening in that moment?
  • What was going on with you and the other person?
  • Why do you think you were you so full of joy?

Take this moment in your life of excitement and joy and think about it a little bit more.

  • How long did it last?
  • What were you like after experiencing this joy?
  • Did you have a stronger bond with that person in your life?
  • Did that joy last or were there moments in your life where you may have struggled in your relationship with this person?

Joy and struggle are both part of our human experience in this world and we will experience both throughout our lives in a variety of relationships.

Taylor Swift sings, “All my mornings are Mondays stuck in an endless February/ I took the miracle move-on drug, the effects were temporary/ And I love you, it’s ruining my life.

She is speaking to a romantic relationship that has since ended and the lasting negative effects of this relationship on her both physically and emotionally. At some point, this relationship brought Taylor joy and excitement, but as evident from these lyrics, that joy was fleeting, and she is struggling. Unhealthy relationships, experiences of sin, and struggles can leave us in situations of despair.

We don’t want to leave moments of pure joy and happiness whether they are big family events or celebrations or the experience of love and attention from another person. However, as the Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 3:21-24 (NIV)But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus

Paul reminds us, just as he reminded the Romans, of our humanity and how we all sin and fall short of the glory of God in this world. We will face moments of joy that we want to last forever and moments of struggle and pain that we never want to experience again. We are human and as a result of being human, we are not perfect and we will be faced with opportunities to choose between God and something other than God.

In all these moments of both joy and pain, struggle and success, God is with us. God never abandons us, even when we find ourselves suffering and feeling abandoned by others in our lives. Let us remember to seek the Lord in all that we do, and enter a deeper relationship with Him, seeking His love and bringing those we love to Him as well, instead of putting all our energy into things of this world that will fade away. While the effects of sin may have us feeling like we have ruined our lives, God is waiting patiently for us to turn to Him and be restored to life.

  • What would your life look like if you invested intentional time every day with the Lord, praying with Him and inviting those whom you love to join you in prayer as well?
  • What joy would you feel if you surrendered to the Lord’s will for your life, turning away from sin in all that you do?