Are you a joyful Christian?
“What has happened to all your joy” (Gal. 4:15 NIV).
Several years ago a Wendy’s television commercial depicted an old lady with a wrinkled face and curly gray hair shuffling up to the counter of its competitor and asking in a voice that could wake the dead, “Where’s the beef?”
I suspect that little old ladies and little young ladies could shuffle up to some of us Christians and ask, “Where’s the joy?” We who claim to have joy often look as if we have been weaned on dill pickles. The joy, joy, joy, joy way down in the depths of our hearts has long departed and in its place is some sort of ugliness that emerges like a bad taste in our mouths.
Sheldon Vanauken wrote, “The best argument for Christianity is Christians; their joy, their certainty, their completeness. But the strongest argument against Christianity is also Christians—when they are somber and joyless, when they are self-righteous and smug in complacent consecration, when they are narrow and repressive, then Christianity dies a thousand deaths.”
Writing to a group of Christians that once possessed a vibrant and exciting faith, and an upbeat and positive attitude, and a confident and certain joyfulness the apostle Paul asks a penetrating question that some of us need to ask of ourselves, “What has happened to all your joy” (Gal. 4:15 NIV). The apostle Paul wasn’t a bystander simply making an observation; he was their spiritual father knowing that they were missing out on one of the most wonderful results of the Christian life.
True joy is a treasure of a soul that puts Christ in control, only there is joy safe, only there is joy found. Nothing in this world is safe to place it in. An old British educator said, “Joy is the flag which is flown from the castle of the heart when the King is in residence there.” True joy comes in submitting our lives to Christ as king. Any reservation, any other course of action will rob the believer of that eternal treasure—joy.