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Iowa City Church Podcast

Welcome to the Iowa City Church sermon and teaching page.  We know that life can be confusing, and sometime just plain hard.  We believe the best way to live life comes through following Jesus.  These lessons and sermons are designed to be a resource to help you on that journey.  We hope you find them helpful!

Feb 14, 2022

Humans are "wired" to experience joy.  What exactly is joy you ask?  Joy is the emotion evoked by well being, success, good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires.  So take a moment and consider this: When was last time you experienced joy? 

In 2018 a report came out stating that the life expectancy of Americans dropped for the second year in a row.  In a surprising statement from Dr. Steven Woolf, a co-author of this report, there were two causes for this drop: the opioid crisis and despair.  Simply put, Americans weren't finding much joy in living. 

We were created for joy, yet most people weren't finding it.  One of the reasons is because so many folks have become dependent on supplementing with "cheap joy".

"Cheap joy" can be found in a number of places, for example there is joy found in purchasing that item you have been dreaming about, and it's all fine and good until the credit card bill comes the following month.  There is joy found in having a favorite sports team that wins the big game...only to have them lose every game the next seasons.  There is joy found in beginning a new relationship with someone who "checks all the boxes", until they turn out to be a jerk! 

If our only source of joy can be so fickle, no wonder people find themselves constantly dealing with hurts, habits and hang ups!  So where do we find our joy?  Is it possible that the one who created us, can also supply us with joy?

In Psalm 126, the psalmist focuses in on the ebb and flow of joy as God's people pursue him.  Sometimes the joy is overwhelming, like a dream.  In other seasons, the joy is absent, like walking through a desert.  Following God is literally like a roller coaster, but here's the strange paradox of joy: it's best experienced after a season of struggle.

So here is what we learn, no matter what season of life you find yourself in, trust in the Lord...and the joy will come

"The LORD had done great things for us, and we are filled with joy." ~ Psalm 126:3

Do you want to learn more about how this can work in your life?  Give a listen to part seven of Long Obedience in the Same Direction.