An Explosion of Joy
June 6, 2019 | by: Dale Thiele | 0 Comments
Posted in: Pastoral Encouragement
Yes, I made up the word. Let me explain why.
When I was a child, I learned to cheer for the Chicago Bears from my father. Long before I understood the game of football, I had a team to cheer, because that was who my dad was cheering. When I was eight years old, I began to understand more about the game. And the Bears were winning. A lot. And they won the Super Bowl. I’ve been a fan ever since.
Children learn to cheer before they fully understand why we cheer. We teach our children to sing and pray long before they understand why God is so worthy of our praise and trustworthy of our dependence.
So, when we pass on the faith to our children, what do we want them to understand first and foremost? What affectional responses will become the foundation of their understanding and experience of the Christian faith?
I want my children to know the joy of the Lord.
Joy is one of the most important responses to the Good News of Jesus Christ. The psalmist commands, “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!” (Ps. 100:1-2). Why? He gives the reason in verse 5: “For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”
I’m still learning how good the Lord is. I’m still growing in understanding and experiencing God’s steadfast love for me and his people. I’m still witnessing his faithfulness. Yet I’m commanded to make a joyful noise to the Lord before I ever fully comprehend his goodness.
It is the same with our children. They will learn joy, from our example and modeling, long before they fully understand how good God is.
Our theme verse this year models this embracing of joy first. In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul bursts forth in joyous praise of God. How do we know it’s joyous praise? Because it’s a run-on sentence. Ephesians 1:3-14 is one long sentence. This grammatical note gives us a window into the excitement that fills Paul’s heart as he praises God for “every spiritual blessing.” He doesn’t take a breath for a “full-stop” period. He explodes with joy over the wonder of God.
The joy is contagious, even before we fully understand the glorious depths of the truths of God’s election, predestination, adoption, redemption, forgiveness, and sealing.
I pray that our children would catch the joy, even as they begin to understand that God is good. Joyplosion is one way that we share and model the joy of the Lord with our children.