I know, I know. I have been gone lately. Well, I’m back. Things are going well and the Lord sure is moving in amazing ways. This definitely is a whole new season of mine and Amy’s lives and we are only beginning to see what the Lord has planned. Stay tuned for big things!
Today, as I read in 1 & 2 Thessalonians, I was overwhelmed at the joy that pours out as Paul shares about his life in Christ. Even as he shares about the struggles of bringing the message of Jesus to often resistant and sometimes brutal groups of people, the joy he experiences in Jesus just pours through the pages. It really is an overflow.
Sometimes I wonder, “Where is that kind of joy in the church today?” Don’t get me wrong, I am starting to see it more and more, but it seems that much of the church is still held in an incredible amount of dull, boring, slumbering bondage. If you want to see true joy today, often you have to look to the world of sports. I did a Google image search for the words joy and jubilant. I wasn’t surprised to find mostly sports imagery returned to me. As I looked at these pictures of people overjoyed by crossing the finish line or making the big score, I began to ponder what it is that causes this intense joy in the sports arena. I don’t proclaim to have some new insight, but I asked the Lord, “Why is this?” and this is what I received:
People want to be overcomers. They want to be victorious. At the heart of the human experience, there is this drive in all of is (no matter how suppressed) that causes us to want to come out on top. Sports are a pathway to achieve this innately human goal. When this type of joy and jubilation don’t translate into the life of the church it is a symptom of the lack of understanding and experiencing the life of a true overcomer found in Christ. People don’t see the church as a “winning team” and therefore don’t ever really experience the joy of being in Christ.
Brothers and sisters, I have great news for you. We have much to be jubilant for! Jesus is the ultimate winner, the ultimate overcomer and the church is and will be the most winning team in history. If we are on HIS team, this will be said of us:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. 1 Timothy 4:7-8