After quoting many notables from Augustine to C.S. Lewis on the subject of Christian joy, John Piper in His book The Dangerous Duty of Delight asks:
"So if Christian Hedonism (the pursuit of joy) is old-fashioned, why is it so controversial? One reason is that it insists that joy is not just the spin-off of obedience to God, but part of obedience. It seems as though people are willing to let joy be a by-product of our relationship to God, but not an essential part of it. People are uncomfortable saying that we are duty-bound to pursue joy."......."joy is an act of obedience"
. Is this as foreign to you as to me? Seeking joy has not been on my radar. It's not been on my wish-list. Gentleness and kindness, but not joy.
It's an act of obedience. Of course we are all familiar with the "Rejoice in the Lord" commands scattered throughout the Word. But it seems so.....vague. Of course when our feelings hit us right, when circumstances are good or we experience God's working, we can be glad and rejoice. But this is commanded.
Those disciples in prison. The martyrs of history. Those Singing through the Night even now know that this command is not a passive matter. Rejoicing, being glad is not something that happens to us.
This is foreign. How do I "glad"? net.bible.org tell me that "rejoice" as s "a primary verb; to be "cheer"ful, i.e. calmly happy or well-off; "
That leads me to think about the "gentle and quiet spirit" I spent so much time studying and dreaming I would posses. Gentleness came from confidence in the Lord, and it means to be "unruffled".
I guess there is food for thought for another time. But I'd love to hear what you think!