February 7, 2024

Rob Campbell
"Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, [...] The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. So just as he raised Christ from the dead, he will give life to your mortal body by this same Spirit! [...] We know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who've been called according to His purpose. [...] What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?"
Romans 8:1,11,28,31

I was filled with JOY when I found a way out. Here’s the story.

Before Cypress Creek Church’s Christmas Eve-Eve services, I decided to take a long hike at the Purgatory Creek Natural Area in San Marcos. I parked my truck, took a quick glance at the map posted at the Upper Trailhead, picked a desirable route, and headed out. My hike was to be about 4.5 miles—perfect for a cool day. Long story short, the trail that I picked didn’t return me to the Upper Trailhead parking lot, but the Lower Trailhead parking lot. I was not a happy camper (hiker, actually). Did I mention I didn’t bring any water with me? Minor detail. So, I returned to the trail only to discover that I’d need to make my own way out to save a lot of backtracking. I did just that. Crawling through the barbed wire fence (illegal, I’m sure), I walked at least one mile back to my starting point on the motorist-filled road. My much-desired 4.5-mile hike was extended by at least two additional miles. JOY!

Life can be described as a long hike filled with slippery spots, steep inclines, breathtaking vistas, adventure, accomplishments, miscalculations, wrong turns, and a need for hydration. As we journey, we really can choose JOY, and here’s why (based on Romans 8).

A believer of Christ is no longer under condemnation. Eternity is a reality because of Jesus’ death and resurrection. God is working in our lives. God is with us (“Immanuel”).  

God has provided a way out. Choose JOY!