Proclaiming #4 – Radical Joy

by MW Cook

Yeah, yeah. If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands. Whatever.

This is the part where I whine about how whiny Christians are and tell you all to cheer up because Jesus loves you and life is grand.

I guess it is grand, though it doesn’t always feel like it. Have you ever felt that your life is something like a novel? Have you ever felt like you’re getting ripped off in life? That you’re not getting what you had hoped to get or doing what you had hoped to do? Something’s missing, circumstances suck, generally life is not being kind.

But it is, really. Isn’t it?

I once heard a very interesting explanation on why children go through a ‘terrible two’ stage. Because it’s around that age where you start saying ‘no’ to the kid. Up until that point every single thing that the kid wanted, the kid got. But as he grows up his horizons broaden and he wants things that we don’t want him to have. So we say no. And this is traumatic. Think about it: for his entire life every wish of his has been fulfilled. It doesn’t matter that we, with our years of wisdom, consider his wants petty and meaningless. They mean something to him, so they affect him.

Same with us. Life feels bad, but maybe we have perspective issues. Maybe we don’t realize how good we’ve got it. Maybe we’re just chemically imbalanced. But life isn’t really that bad.

And Jesus makes it better. He was always talking about Joy. People know know Jesus know the deep joy he gives. We probably shouldn’t be crabby people. If you’re crabby people will assume that you don’t have anything to be happy about, that you’re life is generally worse than you had hoped it would be. But if you know Jesus, shouldn’t your life be better than you can imagine?

Radical Joy, in the midst of disappointment, dissatisfaction and problems is a huge sign for people. It’s hard to be joyful, and it takes something bigger than willpower, but it’s good.

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