Pastor Larson’s Corner: Complete joy

Pastor Larsons Corner

Whenever I ask a certain friend of mine how things are going, I can count on his reply to always be the same. He simply says, “I’ve never been better!” Like all of us, he no doubt has his good days and his bad days, but no matter what his current circumstances might be, he never changes his answer. Perhaps his standard reply indicates something that runs deeper than the ups and downs of a given day. Perhaps his joy in life grows out of a source that never changes.

Once, after a day of teaching his disciples, Jesus said to them, “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” When Jesus said this to His disciples, He was talking about something much greater than happiness or just feeling good. He was talking about the kind of joy that comes with finding meaning and purpose in life. He said that this joy begins today and lasts for all eternity. The events of daily living do not affect it because of its eternal and complete nature.

As we live out each day, our emotions can easily be controlled by how things are going for us at a particular moment. We can lose track of the “big picture” and allow ourselves to ride the roller coaster of emotional ups and downs. When this happens to us, we need to remind ourselves that in Jesus we have a source of joy and peace that is steady and always available.

All of us know people who have a sense of serenity and peace in their lives. The little things that bother most of us just don’t seem to get them down. The source of this serenity is found in Jesus Christ. His joy comes into our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit just as He promised it would. When we allow the spirit to fill us with this joy and peace, then we will be able to say in truth, “Life has never been better.”

Pastor Larson’s Corner is written by Jerry Larson and appears weekly in the Norwegian American Weekly.

Pastor Jerry Larson retired to his cabin in Zimmerman, Minn., after 39 years in parish ministry for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In 2011 he published a book entitled “Speaking the Word Freely: Writing with purpose, preaching with power.” Contact him at

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 25, 2015, issue of the Norwegian American Weekly.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.