Jun 7, 2006

where's the joy?

Christians should display more joy in their everyday lives than any group on earth; sadly this is not always the case.

Our days should be filled with joy, not walking around wearing mugs that would blend right in with the wanted posters in the Post Office. Christian joy should translate to smiles and friendliness, not frowns and gloominess.

Christians are not excluded from many of the same problems that weigh-down all humans, we often find ourselves in the same morass as unbelievers, and bear many of the same burdens, sadness, and guilt. Thankfully, those in Jesus have an ever present help that we can bet our lives on, and this alone should cause us to overflow with joy.

The first century church had a ton of joy even during one of the worst periods of Christian persecution in history. A few of our "church" tribes believe they have captured the essence of the early church, but seem to have neglected to restore the joy of being a Christian.

As His children, we realize God loves and protects us, yet we often mope around looking in every nook and cranny for the negatives, while the obvious blessings that surround us escape our notice. Counting our daily blessings should give us all the incentative we need to express ourselves in a joyful manner.

Like most Christians, I fail miserably at times to possess the joy that Jesus gives, and certainly don't always reflect a joyful image as I should, but one thing I have discovered; if I start out each day with a smile and a kind word (even if I'm dying inside,) people respond with a tidal wave of kindness and joy.

Perhaps if we spent a little time in quite contemplation we might realize the blessings we reap daily as children of God; our sins are forgiven, we have a God who listens to us, we possess the Spirit of God within us, we are blessed with a Christian community, and finally we have the promise of eternal life in the presence of God...surely this is enough to promote an occasional smile.

12 comments:

L.E.Meredith said...

Christians should have more joy than non-Christians, but it should be an inner joy. Christ showed his emotions, he cryed, he became angry,he hurt when others hurt, he became sad, he was even driven to dispair. We should show love continually toward others, we should show joy before others when we are joyful. It is said that problem will be solved but not while on earth.
Rv:21:4: And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Larry said...

Laymond...
We can be quite and peaceful and still show our inner joy, but too often our outward expressions and words reveal a joy hid to deep to show others that living the Christian life is not like sitting in a morgue.

L.E.Meredith said...

I know what you mean, at the very least we should not be so eternaly grumpy that we spoil the happyness of others. and there are those who display that attitude all the time.
God bless them they need to know what we know. hummmm maybe we should tell them.

jettybetty said...

Amen--I beieve our joy will make a bigger impact on an unbelieving world than being right on how we interpret scripture. Our joy comes not from our circumstances--but from a God Who loves us and takes cares of us in His perfect way.

Pastor Josh said...

We should have more joy. We have the joy of our loving Savior living inside of us. We have all the answers to be happy. But we choose not to use them. We would rather be sad and complain life the rest. I thought we weren't supposed to be part of this world. It is time for christians to show the love of God in our lives. To show how much we love our God. God bless.

Larry said...

pastor josh...
New Christians sparkle with joy, but for whatever reason, after awhile it's often difficult to tell the Christian from the unchurched.

It's easy to allow the world to remove our joy if we don't keep our eyes on Jesus.

dannykaye said...

I understand what you are saying, Larry. And I agree. But would you agree that some of this comes down to personallity.

For instance:
I am one of the obnoxiously happy people. I always have a bounce in my step, a song on my heart, and a whistle on my lips. I wish that I could say that this was simply because I was a Christian. But truth be told, I was always like this. My partying pals used to call me "Happy Jeff." And believe me, there was no reason for me to be happy back then.

Even now, there are times when I should "change my laughter to mourning and my joy to gloom." But it seems that even if I am sinning up a storm, I still have the bubbles.

At the same time, I have known baby Christians, fresh ot of the water, whose personallities were the opposite of mine. There they were, with sins forgiven, the Holy Spirit living in them, and adopted by God. Yet, though they had a joy that dwelled deep inside, you would be hard pressed to see it on the outside. Although I have seen some folks whose personallities are less peppy than mine immediately change to joyful souls inside and out, it is usually a gradual process.

I am not saying I disagree with you. I agree whole heartedly! As a matter of fact, I cannot understand why everyone doesn't walk around all bouncy and stuff. But I keep reminding myself that not everyone is full of bubbles and bounce.

Larry said...

Jeff...
You bouncy obnoxiously happy people drive the rest of us nuts! :)

Life, even for those following Jesus can be cruel at times, and certainly when things come apart at the seams even joyful Christians are human and their joy will be muted for awhile.

We're not robots programmed to put on a "happy face" regardless of the circumstances, and as you wrote; some of it "comes down to personality."

Jesus certainly had some very down moments in His life, and He was sad on more than one occasion when people He loved were hurting, so we have good examples of times when expressing joy would be out of place.

There are some wonderful Christians who, if they were to smile, their faces would break, but they love God, they just believe that being solemn is the proper response to an awesome God.

Joy, at least to me, is the inner feeling of happiness that just can't stay hid, but must bubble to the surface in response to God's love.

Larry said...

JB...
While the lost can't always understand our often flawed interpretation of scripture, they can understand the joy we share in their presence.

L.E.Meredith said...

Brother Larry, when I meet anyone I smile and shake their hand as if I mean it , because I do I am truly glad to see them. After all I have put this old body through I am just glad to be here to greet them. as my favorite country singer George Jones sings "Iam gonna leave,but I'm not ready yet".

Milly said...

God did give us emotions, free will, and so on. At times is difficult to hold the pain anger a frustrations. I have said that I can spot Christians when they come through my line at work but I doubt I spot them all. The Christian tag is: A smile and patience with me. Being COC we are known for our stoic behavior that’s in the past IN THE PAST we are changing it our generation is laughing it up. So smile Jesus loves you.

Larry said...

Milly...
It's the day-in-and-day-out, year-after-year, sunshine-or-rain grimace, that some Christians prefer to wear, that just might cause someone unchurched to wonder if "religion" is any better than their present situation.

"letting our light shine" in a dark world is important; hiding our joy, is to an extent, hiding our light.