Knowing the lasting joy
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.