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 The Message Watertown Public Opinion, Jan 22, 2015
           Guest Columnist : Rev. Carl Van Voorst,
           Hope For Life Community Church
          
           Individuals looking for lasting joy should put Christ first

“How often have you found what you were looking for in life, only to realize it didn’t bring you the satisfaction you thought it would? … It is life’s ultimate frustration – thinking we will find fulfillment in the things of this world... As one bumper sticker I saw expressed it, ‘All I want is a little more than I have now.’… We look for love, security, and happiness through our jobs, our possessions, our relationships – but if they really brought lasting joy, wouldn’t we have testimonies to that effect from millions of people all over the world? Instead, we find emptiness, discontent, and hopelessness… Try putting Christ first and watch how your life is turned around. You will discover that He alone is the source of the love, peace, and joy you have been searching for.” – Billy Graham

Do these words speak to you as they do to me? Is Billy Graham correct in saying that only Christ provides an unlimited source of love, peace, and joy?

In a word, YES! Romans 15:13 (NIV) says, “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.” Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” What does this mean? I believe He is testifying that He is the source of a life of fulfillment, abundance, love, peace, and joy. For me, Jesus said it and that’s it.

How do we make Jesus our hope and joy? Many God-given tools of faith (prayer, Bible study, worship, etc.) are available to help us apply Jesus’ teachings to everyday life. While this may be difficult at times, it is not rocket science - simply follow Jesus’ example: “and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Eph. 5:2. If life is not what you were hoping for, consider the Scripturally-inspired words of Billy Graham - there is a source of hope and joy and His name is Jesus.

Rev. Carl Van Voorst
Hope for Life Community Church, Watertown, SD
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