Joy Inexpressible

No, I'm not planning on turning this site into a new daily devotional site!  I can't help but share some of what the Lord has been whispering in my ear lately though.  I promise, after this, I'll get around to finally posting about my Thomas turning 3 years old (a week an a half late...sorry buddy).

This morning, I did the "randomly open the Bible and begin to read" thing.  The book of 1 Peter opened, and I began reading.  It was in that first chapter that I had to stop...re-read...re-read...think...pray...

How can I read this amazing Book over and over again for years, and still see something new almost daily?

...though you have not seen Him, you love Him, 
and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, 
you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory...
1 Peter 1: 8


As I read this, it struck me that non-believers must sometimes think that we Christians have completely fooled our own selves into believing a fairy tale.  We believe in something...someONE who we can't see.  We even profess a deep love for someone we've apparently never met.  Maybe they feel that we need this elaborate story in our lives to help explain the mysteries of life and death.  Maybe they think it's sort of a placebo effect thing - we think that if we believe we'll have joy and peace...so we choose to believe and therefore open our lives to a joy and peace that resided within us all along...it's not a God thing, it's just a mind game...we're tricking ourselves.

If that's the case, I'd like to begin believing that the trees in my yard have leaves made of $100 bills!  Wait...let me go out and see...nope, no money out there.  Darn ;-)

Did I not believe hard enough?  No - no amount of convincing myself that money grows on my backyard trees will make it so.

Just as no amount of convincing myself to believe a lie will produce joy and peace.  There is joy and peace in believing in Jesus because He is actually real.  He is actually alive.  He is actually powerful.

Okay, wait.  Maybe if I believe a lie, it will produce joy and peace...for a limited time.  But for years?  For the rest of my life?  In the midst of circumstances that defy peace and joy?  Makes no sense.

Another way to look at it...

Personally, I did not expect joy when I became a Christian.  I expected my life to be turned upside down.  I expected to not have any fun.  I expected to lose friends.  So where did the incredible joy come from?  Not my mind, if I was expecting something different!

So there you go - if your theory about Christianity involves this placebo-effect line of thinking, you just got yourselves a data point that doesn't fit the curve.  Now what?

I have another theory for you to consider now that yours was just disproved:  Jesus is real.  When you hit your knees and say "God, I don't understand, and I might never.  But I believe you're real.  I believe Jesus came to earth.  I believe Jesus died for my sins.  I believe Jesus rose from death.  I believe I need your forgiveness.  Please help me.  I want to be your child."  My theory is that Jesus is in fact real, and a very real and powerful force will fill your life.

To my friends and family who do not believe in Jesus, I'd like you to consider some questions about me:
1.  Do you think that I am at least slightly intelligent?
2.  Do you think that I am mentally ill?
3.  Do you think that I want to harm you?
4.  Do you think that I have a unique power within myself to produce feelings and experiences that I was not expecting or pursuing?
5.  Do you think that I can heal my physical body just by thinking about it?
6.  Do you think that I can foretell the future?

If you believe that I am generally intelligent, sane, loving, and without magical powers...please hear what I am saying:  Jesus is real.  There is simply no other way to explain what I've experienced.  Please call on Him.  Please trust in Him.  You will not be disappointed, I promise.

Patti  – (10/06/2010 08:30:00 AM)  

Thank you for that. Sometimes when we openly express our love for the Lord...people (Even people who love us)..take a step back. I was questioned about my 'Devotional' style blog recently. I just want to share all the beauty and the grace that I could not have found on my own.

John 15:18-If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.- In other words..People didn't understand Jesus and took a step back..so when we express our love and awe for HIM...they don't understand at times either.

Thank you for posting this and wording it so well! =)

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