Joy in the Midst of a Fallen World

il_570xN.304373761After my mother died, there were found among her things many of the books that I had given her over the years, most of which spoke of the gospel. One of the books was called Joy, a compilation of C. S. Lewis’ writings on the subject of joy. Our merciful Father used this book to help me to fight for joy at a very difficult time in my life.

Oddly enough my Lord had me purchase this book at another trying time in my life. I was taken to a museum displaying folks’ perceptions of God in Baltimore by my nieces. They thought that I would enjoy these exhibits, me being a Christian and all. The museum ended up being a museum displaying heresy after heresy! It was one of the worse experiences of my life, not only because so many had grossly erroneous thoughts about our God, but so did my nieces. Long ago when my nieces were young, my brother and his wife asked that I not speak to them of God because they believed and still believe that my views of God are the erroneous ones! Not being able to stand any more heresy, I ended up in the bookstore of the museum and, lo and behold, I found this book called Joy, a breath of fresh air in a very dark place. I didn’t read the book at that time but instead gave it to my mom who was then recovering from lung cancer. All that to say that when I returned home after watching my mom die I began to read it. Yet another parent whom I dearly loved had died and I only have a shred of hope that at the end my mom prayed to her Creator and in faith asked that He be her Savior.

This book, which I enjoyed immensely, has caused me to think. C. S. Lewis has a way of doing that. My thinking is that we, as Christians, have a tremendous capacity for joy. We, because of Christ’s death for our sin, have the ability to fully enjoy all of creation simply because we know the Creator. His death alone, making us His beloved children, is more than enough to produce everlasting joy and then adding our knowledge of such an incredibly wonderful God, His creation, as well as our ever increasing knowledge of aspects of His creation, fills our hearts to almost a breaking point of awe, wonder, and joy.

But yet, as sinful beings, there is still that discontentment and over the silliest of things. What is up with that? We, those with the greatest capacity for joy, still allow discontentment, not godly discontentment either, to occupy our thoughts. And once again convicted, I yearn for the day that I am with Him forever, no longer hindered by my sin, my thoughts fully permeated with the joy of my precious Creator and Savior for all of eternity.

My hope is that for the sake of His great name, we diligently pursue the joy that we have been given. That I, we, purpose to fill our minds in a daily moment by moment battle for that joy regardless of our situation. That even when our lives are full to the brim with the sadness of living in a sinful world we choose to remember our amazing Savior’s act of love in purchasing us at such a huge cost, enabling us to live now and forever with Him as an object of His joy, forgiven. Then it seems to me that in the midst of horrible sadness we can have the quiet, peaceful joy of knowing that nothing is able to separate us from His love. We can truly rest in His arms confidently knowing that it will be alright, always and forever. And then, hopefully, we should be able to bring Him much glory.

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