Joyless religion

23 November 2010

‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!’ (Phil 4:4).

That’s an easy command for true Christians to obey. In fact it’s impossible not to rejoice when the Holy Spirit lives within convincing us of the reality of God’s love for us, our relationship with him, the forgiveness of our sins and the assurance of coming glory.

I don’t mean the pseudo-joy of a fixed cheesy grin and a ‘hallelujah’ in every sentence. I mean the deep-seated, unshakable joy that comes from knowing all is well at the level that matters. This is the joy that, when Christians meet together, spills over in heartfelt, exuberant songs of praise to our God.

No other religion knows this. There’s no joy on the faces of ayatollahs. Buddhist monks may claim some inner peace, but their religion produces few smiles. Sikhs and Hindus know how to party, but joy is nowhere to be seen in their temple rituals.

Joy is a Christian hallmark. Let it show!


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