Over a cup of coffee with our pastor, we discussed how sad it is that so many Christians, including pastors, are so “glum and grumpy.” Whenever I am around “grumpy” Christians, I often wonder why anyone would want to be a Christian if that’s how it is?
It’s not that I think Christians should be marching around, forcing happiness or displaying artificial smiles; I believe that knowing the good news of God’s love for us and being filled with the Holy Spirit should fill our hearts with JOY that we should, in turn, be sharing with a world hungry for that JOY!
“God commands us to shine with inner JOY!” –Christopher Wright
Many Christians feel that being such is serious business. They feel guilty for feeling JOY when so much of life around us is so serious, scary, or sad. But it is for these reasons that we should seek lives filled with JOY! The JOY of knowing God is in control and will never abandon us. We are called to share that JOY with a struggling world! People need the JOY of God’s promise of eternal life; the JOY of knowing that even in our darkest times, God is always with us!
But beware….there are people who I call “joy zappers” who will do anything to “zap your JOY” Be strong! Refuse to let them drag you down!!!
Do you need some JOY in your soul? Come to camp and celebrate the JOY of God’s creation! Nature and community can renew and refresh JOY! If we immerse ourselves in creation; rejoicing and praising God in community with others, we open ourselves to the kind of JOY that only comes from knowing our loving God!
Come be renewed in JOY. Listen to the “trees of the forest sing for JOY” –Psalm 96
And “the rivers and mountains clapping and singing for JOY!” – Psalm 98
God is great! Challenge yourself daily to let God’s Holy Spirit fill you with joy!
- Peggy Lovegren