Are you surrounded by people who aren’t all that nice? Maybe a neighbor who is grouchier than Oscar from Sesame Street. Or a mother who can’t resist criticizing you in every conversation. Or the heartless commenters who forget that digital words still hurt. Or a spouse who never seems happy with you, no matter how hard you try.
If so, I want you to remember the apostles. After Jesus returned to heaven, the apostles returned to a city filled with their enemies. The same church leaders who lied about Christ and the same soldiers who pounded the nails into the cross were still running the show in Jerusalem. Yet here is how the apostles felt: “They . . . returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God” (Luke 24:52,53).
How could they feel like that while living there? Because they were blessed by the Savior who sits at the right hand of God (Luke 24:51). They believed that the King of the universe loved them, was with them, and would work out everything for their good.
After this devotion, you’re going to “return to Jerusalem” too. You’ll go back into a world that isn’t always nice to you. But that doesn’t have to take away your joy because you have exactly what the original apostles had—forgiveness through Jesus, the presence of the Spirit, the plans of your Father.
To quote singer Taylor Swift, “Haters gonna hate.” But that doesn’t have to stop your joy. Through Jesus, you are a child of God!