Joy despite Televangelists
It can be quite frustrating watching people make a mess of God’s word, whether it is televangelists (the guys who are on TV in thousand dollar suits, sweating up a storm, and turning Jesus name into a ten syllable word) or the street corner evangelist (who seems more obsessed with yelling than he is about Jesus) I get ticked when I see people representing the Gospel in dumb ways and with even worse motivations. Maybe I am not alone in this irritation, but Paul (famous guy in the early church and author of a lot of the Bible) would not have let it faze him. Instead, Paul turned everything into Joy. Paul was in prison as he wrote this letter (the book of Philippians) to the church in Philippi and there were jerks that were using his imprisonment as an opportunity to further their selfish agendas in the church. They were using Paul’s time-out to be there moment to shine. Pretty easy to see why Paul would be upset right?
Except that is not the case. Instead Paul wrote, “So what do we do then? Listen. What matters is that in every way, regardless of the motives—whether pure or shady—the great story of the Anointed is a cause for joy. I will continue to rejoice” (Philippians 1:18 The Voice). Isn’t that crazy? I would have no desire to see any benefit of those who are gaining from my demise, but Paul finds his joy in the Gospel.
It is really easy to be thrown off by so much when we find our joy in stuff or people or circumstance or prestige. When I lose what matters to me, such as my personal comfort, I get upset and my joy is gone. I can guarantee that Paul’s circumstance would have thrown my joy out of whack as well.
Paul’s joy was found in the Gospel and accomplishing its work. He did not care about his own comfort level. Instead he found it to be joy because he was serving Jesus and others saw that. He had true hope and people wanted in!
The church in America may very well be beginning to enter a similar time, it is already politically incorrect to speak about Jesus in many places and it will only get more censoring.
The question though is not how will I deal with the trouble that is to come, but what will I find my joy in? Comfort or Christ?
My prayer is that I will grow to find joy in the latter.
Read today's section from the Bible by following the link