Joy is something that I've been thinking about a lot lately.
I have been a Christian my whole life basically. I accepted Christ when I was 8 years old and was baptized. I grew up going to church and despite trials in my life, have never truly turned my back on the faith I was raised with.
All this being said, I have struggled more times than I'd like to admit with the concept of joy. I know the gospel inside and out. God created the world and sent his son to be born of a virgin, die on the cross, and rise again in three days all so I could spend eternity in heaven with him. This is very good news. This is the kind of news that should cause great joy within the hearts of those that believe it. So why do I struggle with joy?
I tend to get caught up with the things of this world and forget that I not only have been saved from eternal separation from my God, but have a responsibility to tell others about it! How sad that I would let things like laundry and shopping and hurt feelings and arguments steal my joy and make me forget about my place on this earth! To be consumed with the things of the world makes me no better than an unbeliever. Joy is what distinguishes the saved from the unsaved because we have a hope that others don't have. How can I have this hope and walk around with no joy in my life? It's crazy!
David and I listened to an incredibly powerful sermon by Mark Driscoll on Heaven and Hell this weekend. You can listen to it here. After listening to this sermon, I am extrememly aware of just how lost some people are, and just how lost I have allowed myself to be at times.
There is a place called heaven where we will eternally worship our King after we die. And there is a place called Hell where people who chose to not have a relationship with Jesus will suffer anquish and torment apart from their Father.
The ONLY way to get to heaven is through Jesus!! You will NOT go to Heaven unless you have a personal relationship with Him and choose to live your life for Him instead of the world. It's that simple. There's no way around it. Jesus says " The only way to get to the Father is through me."
It does not count if you go to church occasionally or are a good person or do nice things. The only thing that counts is if you know who Jesus is and run after Him. Period. End of story.
It breaks my heart to think of the many people around me that could stand before the Father when they die and hear Him say "depart from me I never knew you." Good people, church going people, people who have done great works on this earth. People who are loved dearly.
(If you are reading this and want to talk to me more about having a relationship with God PLEASE feel free to message me! I would love to talk to you!)
Where is the joy? If you know that you are going to heaven, you should be joyful. I should be joyful. we should be sharing this joy with others so they can know Jesus too and walk with us into heaven.
Don't let the things of this world steal your joy and make you ineffective for the kingdom. There are too many lost people out there to walk around with no joy!
"You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy." Psalm 30: 11