The NBA finals are heading for game 3 with the Golden State Warriors leading 2-0. Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers ran into a wall in California this weekend at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Game one came down to a final free throw that, if it went in, would have won the game for Cleveland, but it did not. The Warriors went on to win in overtime. Game two was equally frustrating for the Cavaliers as Steph Curry of the Warriors made an incredible 9 three-point shots, a NBA finals record! The score ended up 122-103 but garbage time began at 5 minutes to go as the Cavaliers replaced all their starters for the last minutes of the game.
The headline on the “Bleacher Report” today is, “Lebron James Trying to Push Through A Lot During Joyless Finals”. It seems that Lebron James can’t have any joy unless his team is winning. He scored 51 points in game one and 29 in game 2 all to know avail as the team-oriented Warriors out shot and took all his joy away. It reminds me that joy has NOTHING to do with circumstances, it has to do with who or what your joy is based upon.
If your joy only comes by winning, as in Lebron James’ case, then you are destined to have some very joyless times. If your joy is based on your relationship with Jesus Christ it is an amazing thing indeed. Another “James” penned some interesting words in a very familiar book. James was the half brother of Jesus Christ and the leader of the Jerusalem Church. He wrote the book of James around AD 49. Here are his Holy Spirit inspired words about joy, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.”
If you can experience joy in the midst of trial, imagine the joy in the midst of blessings! That’s what James is trying to tell us. So, we have a choice; Find our joy only by winning as Lebron does, or find our joy in Jesus Christ as the “other James” encourages us to do. Enjoy the playoffs!