I have a friend and this really did happen to her. She was standing on the step outside of church one Sunday and a gentleman was coming towards her from the parking lot. He stopped right in front of her and asked her if she had the joy of the Lord in her heart. She replied yes she did. He went on to tell her to move it up to her face and promptly left and entered the church.
I remembered that story when I read what Phil Calloway, a Christian writer and comedian, wrote about his father in law. The man did not want to know anything about God for years. His daughter, Phil’s wife, kept trying to figure out what was the stumbling block. Finally one day he told her: “Christian’s look like they got all the joy of life sucked right out of them.” Frankly it was not something that held any attraction for him. Why would anyone want to walk around so miserable? Good question.
Now I’m not going to lie, life is hard. There are speed bumps, moguls and mountains that often appear out of the blue. They happen to everyone at some point in life, it is not “if” they will happen but “when”. The point of this blog is not to make you “smile and life is all good”, the point is this: there is always a reason to smile, even amidst our pain and hurt.
If Christians have this amazing news that they are saved from hell, have an incredible relationship with the God of this Universe and can converse with Him no matter where they are….Why do Christians get the wrap of looking so miserable?
Perhaps it is because many of us are. The following is true of most of us in North America.
We have so much compared to many countries of the world and in spite of this we have bought into the “more” philosophy. Our media marketing forces us to watch ad after ad showing us how complete we would be if we only had “more”.
Then we have our “want it now” mentality: drive up food, coffee, banking, drug stores, photos, cleaners. If we need answers, we whip out our phones and call on Siri or Google for help, because they can connect us to anything we “need.” Heaven help us if we have to wait for slow internet connection, it is as if the world simply stood still and we are not sure what to do with that.
With so much freedom, why are we so miserable?
David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Pastor, Westminster Chapel in London wrote the book “Spiritual Depression”.
"Christian people," writes Lloyd-Jones, "too often seem to be perpetually in the doldrums and too often give this appearance of unhappiness and of lack of freedom and absence of joy. There is no question at all but that this is the main reason why large numbers of people have ceased to be interested in Christianity.”
There are no “eyores” in heaven. Nope, not a one. Part of who God is, is Joy.
Your problems are not making God wring His hands and complain that He is not sure what to do. He has a Plan! He has had a plan from the beginning, even before you were born. His is that BIG! His plan is to make people in “His image”. That alone should make us excited.
Joy is so much different than Happy. Happy is from the “things” around you but “Joy” is strictly from God. Joy is a gift from God, it is a part of God Himself, it is one of the fruits of the spirit.
Kids get joy and perhaps we should spend more time with kids. Their world is serious but they seem to have a way to accept what is. I think this is why Jesus loved to spend time with the children.
Boy 4 years old: Mom what happens when your phone falls into the toilet?
Boy: Never mind.
Boy age 3: “Jesus was in the kitchen and He said I could eat a cookie.” What the 3 year old said when caught with a cookie after he was told NO.
During a doctor's visit, the urologist asked my 3-year-old son to pull his pants and underwear down. When she went to examine him he looked at her and said "awkward". (Jessica Button)
A little boy recently informed me that squirrels eat acorns because they don't like Mexican food.
About halfway through a spaghetti dinner a 3-year-old asked what the green stuff on the pasta was. When told that it was parsley, she threw up her hands and said, "Well, I've never had it before, and now, my life is ruined." (Christine Horos)
One day my 4-year-old was upstairs and yelled, "ouch!" When I asked what happened he yelled down to me, "I stubbed my toe! The one that ate roast beef!" (Jenn Memolic)
We are approaching the start of the Season of Joy – the Christmas Season. No matter what is going on inside our world, the hurricanes that are swirling around us, there is nothing that can erase the joy of the 1st Christmas, the birth of a Saviour. It truly is a miracle, a big fat joyous miracle, that cannot be erased or taken away, now that should move a joy smile from your heart and plunk it right up onto your face.
Go on... Smile and Share the joy!