Friday, January 28, 2022
Caliph Abdurrahman III was the Muslim ruler of Cordoba, Andalusia, Spain about a thousand years ago. He had a long history of military victories. His fleet was the most powerful in the region. He was very wealthy, he built mosques and monuments, and he was a patron of arts and literature. His country flourished economically. He lived to be 70. When he died, they found this statement in his own handwriting:
I have now reigned almost 50 years in victory or peace; beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power, and pleasure have been mine to command. I have lacked no earthly blessing. In this situation, I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot: they amount to 14!
By contrast, the Apostle Paul was bitten by a snake, thrown into prison several times, whipped numerous times, beaten with sticks three times, stoned one time, in shipwrecks three times, and left for dead at least one time (2 Corinthians 11:23-28). And in all that, he said he was full of joy that his life was being sacrificed for the sake of Christ (Philippians 2:17).
Eternal Father, only you are the source of eternal joy. Help us realize that such lasting joy is not based on money or income, education or position, religion or success. None of these! You are the only one who can give us true satisfaction, peace and rest. May we never waste our years here on earth in worldly pursuits. These will never satisfy, never fulfill.
I pray that Muslims will run to Jesus to receive forgiveness of sin and new life in him. Then they will know the meaning of true and lasting joy. Smile upon them and reveal to them your love and compassion. Only you can fill them with heavenly delight.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
The joy that the Lord gives makes you strong! (Nehemiah 8:10, SAB).