"However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."
How do you experience joy in the race of everyday life with all of its frustrations and disappointments?
You live differently. You live to serve. You live to minister to others, rather than seeking after your own interests. You live counter-culturally in a world where ad campaigns and modern voices constantly shout, “It’s all about you!”
Jesus’ disciples faced trials not unlike many you and I know. But they also endured escalating persecution as they followed Christ. In fact, each one of them staked his life on his belief in Jesus, nearly all suffering martyrs’ deaths in the end. They knew their lives were not their own, but belonged to the One they served. They did not, and neither can we, count our life so dear.
It is unlikely that any of us will come to the end of our days the way the disciples did, but like Paul and Peter and many others, we can know a real joy in “testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Through acts of service you do for God and for others, you bring glory to Him and will enjoy Him forever.
Only by living for Him, and not yourself, will you experience the joy He experienced in loving obedience to His Father's will.