Joy, the Characteristic of an Authentic Encounter with Christ



This morning, the pipes burst from the water mains to my house. A great spray of water was sent across the lawn, and the water pressure in the house dropped to zero.

I went to church glad that it had been spotted early.

This morning I spoke about the believer’s joy, which is fixed by the certainty of our entrance into eternal life and grounded in the love of Christ. This happiness is not tangential to the Christian experience. It is part of the promise; it is part of the proof of being in Christ. For Christ himself said, “I have spoken these words that my joy might be in you, and your joy might be complete“. The devil’s greatest tool to destroy this joy is to rob people of their assurance and confidence that they will enter that sunlit land, and one day inhabit the City of God in fellowship with Christ and his saints forever. This joy exists independent of our momentary troubles and worries.

Truly, even “the desert blooms as paradise when God is with His people there“.

After worship was ended, I was talking to a brother about joy and Christian happiness. We ended up comparing notes about our troubles with our homes. The conversation ran something like this:

Me: “Well, this morning the pipes burst in my house!”
[Insert joyous laughter]
Brother: “Well, my roof is leaking in three places and I don’t have the time to fix it!”
[Insert more joyous laughter]
Me: “Well, this week I received a letter from the people who built my home warning me the roof could cave in!”
[Joyous laughter again]

It would seem madness to the world. Glib; insane; not being a realist. Yet for the Christian who is strengthened by Christ, the difficulties of life are trivia compared with His joy. Our conversation was a small, yet vivid proof of Christian joy that can exist independent of one’s circumstances.

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