What do you think of this quote from Martyn Lloyd-Jones?
The greatest need of the hour is a revived Church.-Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Nothing is more important… than that we should be delivered
from a condition which gives other people looking at us, the
impression that to be a Christian means to be unhappy, to be
sad, to be morbid, and that the Christian is one who “scorns
delights and lives laborious days”… Christian people too often
seem to be perpetually in the doldrums and too often give
this appearance of unhappiness and lack of freedom and of
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.
I think he is 100% right.
What made me think of posting this article is the fact that I was leading my young adult life group discussion last week and the topic of hope and joy came up. In 1 Peter 1:8 (a great Easter text by the way!) we find this sentence, “8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory.” If you read the passage in context you will see that Peter is tying joy and hope to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. To put it simply, the ultimate basis of our hope and joy is the fact that Jesus rose from the dead.
Of course, there is a problem. C.S. Lewis in his masterpiece, ‘The Weight of Glory’, describes the problem in this famous quote:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”-C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory
The problem, as C.S. Lewis has already pointed out, is that we get distracted from Jesus by other pleasures. It is not very helpful to tell a group of people that you care about that they should be more joyful! What does this pursuit look like? How do we go about it? Not long ago I created a devotional called “Seven Days To Increase Your Joy In Christ.” Here it is:
I would love to hear from you and how your pursuit of Jesus Christ (and joy) is going. Feel free to leave a comment or ask a question!
It is hard not to have the joy of the Lord, when you praise God & think on how much Jesus loves us because He shed His innocent blood for us, while we were still sinners & we will continue to sin. So, in spite of our circumstances, we can still have the Lord’s joy deep in our heart .
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