Some of you may be old enough to remember singing—perhaps in Sunday school or at summer camp—that old song that starts out like this:
“I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.”
“Down in my heart!”
“Down in my heart!”
Do you know why we rarely sing that in church? Because it just doesn’t sound right when it’s sung with a frown. I don’t want to seem ultra-negative, but have you noticed the look on the faces of many in the Sunday-morning crowds? One word comes to mind—grim. As a close friend of mine used to say to his congregation, “Many of you have the joy so deep down in your heart that your face hasn’t found out yet!”
There are exceptions. I’ve seen joyful believers and rejoicing congregations. I’m thankful that I’ve had the privilege to serve such congregations for most of my ministry. But sadly, truly joyful Christians are a rare species … and they seem to be facing extinction today.
Now, to be clear, when I say “joyful Christians,” I’m not talking about silly Christians or foolish Christians. I’m not talking about Christians who think everything’s a joke. And I’m certainly not talking about sarcastic or cynical or sneering Christians. I’m in search of Christians who are genuinely joyful—the kind of joyful that looks a lot more like contentment and peace than simply excitement or happiness.
Swindoll, Charles R. 2017. Philippians, Colossians, Philemon. Vol. 9. Swindoll’s Living Insights New Testament Commentary. Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Check out our Bible Study on the book of Philippians, using David’s Jeremiah’s book, Count It All Joy as a guide. It is on Amazon as well as part of the Good Questions Have Groups Talking subscription service. Like Netflix for Bible Lessons, one low subscription gives you access to all our lessons–thousands of them. For a medium-sized church, lessons are as little as $10 per teacher per year.
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