Must Read Monday: Joy in Believing, Christianity Around the World, and Us vs. Them
Joy in Believing
Pew research found that people who are active in religious congregations tend to be happier and more civically engaged than either religiously unaffiliated adults or inactive members of religious groups. /
James tells us to “count it all joy when we endure trials of various kinds.” James 1:2
But from whence does such joy spring?
- James goes on to say that the joy comes from the knowledge of who God is and what God has done in Jesus Christ – and therefore, trusting that God is producing even now, in the midst of whatever trial we’re facing, steadfast faith.
- Peter echoes that very same teaching in I Peter 1:3-9 when he talks about the surpassing joy of knowing Christ
- John tells us of the joy he finds when others walk in the truth of the knowledge of Jesus Christ. 2 John 1:4 and 3 John 1:4
- We witness a living example of the joy of the Lord, cultivated in a disciple who has and applies the mind of Christ throughout his life in the apostle Paul. We know that the book of Philippians is the joy book, but consider the realities of the life of the one who refers to joy and rejoicing 16 times in just over 100 verses.
As Christians, we are the joy people. Win or lose, we count it all joy. When things go our way and when they don’t, we count it all joy. Let that be the theme of our lives today as we cultivate and apply the mind and the manner of Christ in the midst of a world often contrary to His reality, rule and reign as King of kings and Lord of lords.
As we acknowledge that though Christ has come, things are not yet on earth as they are in heaven, let us address those disconnects by helping others reconnect the eternal with the everyday – in joy!
Christianity Around the World
Periodically we have noted the need for Christians in the West to recognize the plight of our Christian brothers and sisters in the rest of the world. That often means learning about forms of Christianity that are literally foreign to us as American Protestants.
Us vs. Them
Sometimes the efforts of secularists to point to Christians as us vs. them only exposes the reality in reverse. This is an article about the Prime Minister of Australia. Read it.