Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord, exulting in his salvation. — Psalm 35:9
This week I have had the pleasure of leading FCA Huddles at both our local high school and middle schools and on the heels of celebrating Thanksgiving last week I wanted to to talk to students about another side of being thankful, being joyful. Too often, not only our students, but Christians in general don’t reflect the Joy they should have in their relationship with Christ. To be totally honest, some of the most miserable angry people I know claim to be Christians. How can this be so? How can people who have experienced the love of Christ and now have the gift of eternal life with Him, have no joy? This is something I can’t truly comprehend.
I know that it is not my job to judge whether or not someone truly has accepted Christ or not. However, a true heart changing interaction with Christ should bring change to the persons life. The Bible says in Matthew that we will be able to know true followers of Christ from false prophets by their fruits. Later on in Galatians we read what the fruits of the spirit are, and guess what a big one of them is Joy! As followers of Christ our life needs to reflect the Joy that we have found in knowing Christ. As the verse above says, we need to rejoice in the Lord and the Salvation we have in Him!!! We have a gift we could never earn and a relationship with the almighty Creator! This should excite us and and pour joy out of every aspect of our lives.
I know that life can be tough and their are always going to be rough situations, circumstances, and people that we have to deal with that have the potential of discouraging our joy. That being said, we have Christ who promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5). In all those scenarios, we can still take joy in the fact that He is with us. People are watching us looking to see what fruit we exhibit. As my father is fond of saying, we may be the only Bible that some people ever read. With this being the case, being joyful and finding joy in Christ is a must!
I encouraged my FCA students today as we enter the Christmas season, we are going to be constantly reminded of the Joy we should have that Christ came to this earth so that we might have eternal life with Him. So use this joyful season to really start letting others see the joy we have in Christ. We are not called to be miserable, we are called to be joyful followers!