December 16, 2021

Finding Joy in the Present

Written by Tripp Prince

It is possible to find joy and peace in the present while also looking to the future with great anticipation.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 16, 2021

I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again. Philippians 1:23-26, ESV

My son is the youngest of 3 kids, with two older sisters to keep him in line and show him the way. He is a tender and thoughtful child, with a depth of kindness and compassion that I can only marvel at and aspire to for myself. However, at only 7 years old, he is also in the phase of making the most delightfully innocent and humorous comments, often without even realizing it. Case in point, he recently walked in the room and announced as a matter of fact, “Dad, right now my voice sounds like the girls (his sisters), but when I get older it will stretch and sound more like yours.”

I’ve spent my entire life discontent with the season I was in, longing for the next step and future goal that would surely satisfy whatever discontent I was experiencing in the present. Yet here in the words of a child, I found myself reminded of a beautiful truth: It is possible to find joy and peace in the present while also looking to the future with great anticipation. My son is excited for the day when he will grow tall and sound like a man, yet in his comments he was perfectly content with the moment in time in which he found himself. It’s okay to be a child when you’re a child. In fact, when you’re 7 years old, it’s the only thing you can truly be!

What season of life do you find yourself in today? Do you anxiously look ahead to the future, worried about retirement or health concerns? Similarly, do you dream about a future job, relationship, or home in a new city that keeps your heart and mind lost in the clouds and blind to the needs right around you? Or, do you disparage your present season by nostalgically looking backwards, convinced your best days are behind you and that you’ll never experience joy, or love, or purpose the way you once did?

In Philippians 1, St. Paul was aware of two desires within his heart. On the one hand, he longed to enter into glory and be with Christ Jesus for eternity. Yet he also saw the goodness of continuing to labor amongst the Philippian church, encouraging them in their growth into joy and faithfulness to Christ. Though he kept his eyes on the goal and future prize, he was fully present to the moment and season he was in, and gave himself to it with peace of heart and mind. Wherever we may be today, let us look to his example and do the same.

“When we yield to discouragement it is usually because we give too much thought to the past and to the future.” -St. Thérèse of Lisieux


Father, help us learn to be content in all seasons of life, longing for your kingdom to come, while faithfully serving you day in and day out, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Meditate today on the above quote from St. Thérèse, especially looking for ways that discouragement or despair in your life may be rooted in an unhealthy focus on the future or the past.

Related Reading

Psalm 91:15; John 12:26; 1 Thessalonians 4:17

Worship Resource

The Worship Initiative feat. Bethany Barnard: I Shall Not Want


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