Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Radical Joy.

Hi!  Today is my first REAL blog post and I am very excited about that.  Since my blog is called PURE JOY, I figured I would make my first blog about just that…. JOY.  The Bible says a lot about joy.   We are told to be joyful in our sufferings, to be joyful in our hope, to be joyful always.  And I’ve been thinking… how in the world do we do that??!  Be joyful when we are in a car accident? Be joyful when someone we love is dying?  Be joyful in the mundane tasks of life?  I mean, that’s just not for me. 

“Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).”

Most people would say that it is a little extreme to be joyful ALWAYS.  Most of the time… yes, but always?! Sounds a little ridiculous; a little radical.  What happened to the saying “Moderation in all things”?  Guess what? That is NOT a scriptural principle.  In fact, I believe that God wants us to be extremists.  In life, in love, in JOY, we need to be extreme.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance (James 1:2-3).” 

Not only are we to be joyful in all circumstances, but James tells us specifically to be joyful at trials.  How could he say such a thing?  How can we do it?  I feel a bit presumptuous to tell others to be joyful in trials when my trials have been few and small.  But if you are unwilling to listen to me, certainly you can agree that the apostle James endured many dreadful trials, the likes of which most of us cannot imagine.  If James and Paul can tell us to be joyful in our trials, then we should take notice. 

But how?

What is this joy that the Bible speaks of? Is it simply laughing and smiling all the time, or thinking everything is funny? Definitely not.  “The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish (Proverbs 10:28).” More than laughter and happiness, joy comes from our certainty of the future and what God has promised us.  Despite what goes on in the world around us, we can find joy from the comfort from God that if we “worship in spirit AND in truth” that we will be saved.  We must be confident, not in our own righteousness, but in God’s grace.  As Nehemiah says, “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength (Nehemiah 8:10).”  So take heart, for our joy is not determined by the circumstances that surround our lives, but from the constant reminder of the wonderful plan God has for His Kingdom, and the promise that we CAN be there.  We CAN be joyful in ALL things!

Joyfully yours,


P.S.  Along with my own research, this has been written with the help of the wonderful book The Fruit of the Spirit by Colin Attridge.  This book is AWESOME and I would highly recommend it.  You can buy it here:       http://www.christadelphianlibrary.com/books.html#F


  1. Interesting. I wrote something that looks at things from a very different perspective at http://ophelimos.xanga.com/672293474/rfgc-00036/. I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on it.

    Also, it's important to be aware that being joyful around someone who is down often isn't helpful. A particular verse comes to mind:

    Proverbs 25:20: Like one who takes off a garment on a cold day, or like vinegar poured on soda, so is one who sings songs to a heavy heart.

    Yes, we may have a wonderful hope, and that may be a good reason to be joyful, but if my friend just died, it's still going to hurt.

    1. In no way am I advocating a lack of compassion. However, I do not think that joy is the same thing as being "happy." If we have joy, it is a part of our character and does not change with circumstance. Thanks for reading!