And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became examples to all inMacedoniaand Achaia who believe. (1 Thessalonians 1:6-7)
The believers at Thessalonica had experienced both persecution and joy when they received the Apostle Paul’s Gospel. It seems like a contradiction, doesn’t it? Persecution and testing will arise for the Word’s sake. But there is a supernatural joy that springs up on the inside of your heart when the Word is received. That joy is the antidote for pressure. I have found that in the midst of pressure you can stir up that supernatural joy with praise and thanksgiving to God.
A trial might make you heavy but you can rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. When Paul and Silas in the belly of prison at the midnight hour prayed and sang praises the prison doors flew open. They got a breakthrough. When things get difficult, don’t throw in the towel, count it all joy and God will bring you through. He has given you joy for the journey so that you can finish strong!