Joy And Peace

The Collins English Dictionary has just revealed its 2022 word of the year to be “permacrisis.” “Permacrisis” is a noun defined by the book publisher HarperCollins as “an extended period of instability and insecurity, especially one resulting from a series of catastrophic events.”

The publisher explained in a blog post on the dictionary website that they selected the word because of the war in Ukraine, climate challenges, political instability, and the surge in inflation. They go on to comment that the term embodies the “dizzying sense of lurching from one unprecedented event to another,” people seem to wonder what new “horrors” might be around the corner.

It goes without saying that for many in our world today the concepts of Joy and Peace are relegated to a holiday fantasy which is revised every year in December and then is put away as we “get back to life”, but should it be that way? In the the Bible, the words “joy,” “rejoice,” or “joyful” appear a total of 430 times, compared with “happy” or “happiness,” which appear only ten times, and peace another 420 times. Something is very different here.

Nearly 1700 years ago as a third-century man was anticipating his death, he carefully wrote these to a friend:

“It’s a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians—and I am one of them.”

Christ came that we might have to tools to do the same. The fruit of the spirit working in our lives is Joy and peace and this week we will discover how to live in a broken world with serenity.

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