So, I had to bring my kids to church today. They are currently in my office making all kinds of noise and being completely unruly. I am sitting out in my outer office trying to focus and write this blog. It sounds like a herd of laughing hyenas have cornered Simba and are about ready to feast! I can barely control the need to barge in there and rain on the parade. As I'm forming the verbal beat down they are gonna get in my head, Ryleigh (my administrative assistant) says, "Don't you just love that sound?" Uhh…in a word, "no!". She goes on to say something to the affect that it sounds like life. Joy is happening. Unbridled, no worries, straight up, joy.
It got me thinking. When was the last time I felt like that? When was the last time I can honestly say that I was just living life and loving it? Or how about this one, when was the last time you or I felt like that in a church service?
Joy is such a deep and meaningful experience. The apostle Paul takes one whole letter to the Philippians and describes what "joy" looks and feels like for the believer. He talks about praying in joy (1:3), preaching in joy (1:18), and suffering in joy (2:17-18). Then he takes a bit of a shift in his writing and uses this phrase three times in the last two chapters "rejoice in the Lord". Here we are not just rejoicing in our circumstances good or bad, but this is more about, as John MacArthur says, "the sphere in which the believers joy exists". This kind of joy is unrelated to what is happening around us. It is wholly focused on what has happened inside of us! It is related as MacArthur says, "to an unassailable, unchanging relationship to the Sovereign Lord." I love that. I love that living for Jesus equals unbridled, no worries, straight up, joy. It isn't always pretty. Let's not forget where Paul was when he penned this letter. A prison. It's a helpful reminder that no matter what is going on around me, I can "can count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." (3:8)
So the next time you walk by the worship office, hear my kids tearing the place apart, see me about to pull my hair out, please peak in and remind me…"that's what joy sounds like."