Know­ing the last­ing joy

Herald Express - - Down Your Way -

HELLO and wel­come to Thought for the Week. It may come as a sur­prise to some peo­ple to hear that Chris­tian­ity is joy­ful. No, don’t mis­un­der­stand me. I don’t mean that Chris­tians should go around with fixed grins on their faces, or that they stub­bornly refuse to ex­press sor­row when some­one close to them dies.

How­ever, deep down, even in the direst sit­u­a­tions, the Chris­tian has ev­ery rea­son to be joy­ful.

You have prob­a­bly heard of the au­thor C. S. Lewis, who wrote the Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia books.

Did you know that he was a Chris­tian? In­deed, there is much in the Nar­nia books which is a pic­ture of Chris­tian things.

As­lan the lion is mocked, killed and rises from the dead, pic­tur­ing Je­sus, Who is re­ferred to in the bible as “The Lion of Ju­dah”.

Lewis was born 120 years ago, on 29 Novem­ber, 1898.

He cer­tainly came to know that deep-down, un­shak­able joy of be­ing a Chris­tian – his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy is called, “Sur­prised by Joy”.

The bible speaks much about the joy of be­ing a Chris­tian.

There are the very well-known words of the an­gel to the shep­herds when Je­sus was born:

“Do not be afraid, for be­hold, I bring you good tid­ings of great joy which will be to all peo­ple.” (Luke chap­ter 2, verse 10)

Great joy! The word trans­lated “great” is the Greek word that has come into col­lo­quial English as “mega”!

Then we read that the first dis­ci­ples were filled with joy when they met the risen Je­sus.

In Acts chap­ter 8, we read that there was great joy in the city when they heard the good news of Je­sus.

In his let­ter to Chris­tians, James even says: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into var­i­ous tri­als” (James chap­ter 1, verse 2)

Do you know that sure, deep, last­ing joy that Je­sus gives to those who be­lieve in Him?

May God grant us all to know such joy!

David Lamb is a South Devon-based lay Bap­tist preacher.

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