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I believe that a sour-faced Christian is probably one of the poorest witnesses in the world.

During one tragic period of church history—and there have been many—believers had the idea that laughing was an outright sin. It was taught that Christians should be very sober and somber and never display a jovial spirit. They thought the more solemn you appeared, the more spiritual you were. There was no joy, no laughter, no excitement regarding the things of the Lord. They considered a somber look a mark of deep spirituality.

It was a terrible witness.

“But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You,” the Bible says by contrast. “Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You” (Psalm 5:11). The Bible describes the Christian life as one of delighted joy: “For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

So enjoy your walk with God! The strongest witness you can have is the joy of the Lord, even in the middle of the most difficult situations. Remember the old song, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.” We used to add a verse to it, “I’ve got the happy hope that heckles heathens down in my heart.” Such joy can really stir up some people.

Imagine you’re facing bankruptcy. Someone is bound to say to you, “I’m so sorry to hear what you’re going through. I feel so bad for you.” What would happen if you responded, “You know, the Lord is so good; I just love the Lord! I know He’ll take care of it, one way or another”?

He’ll look at you with a furrowed brow and say, “Man, don’t you understand what’s happening? Don’t you get it? You’re broke! What are you going to do about all of your bills?”

When you remain happy with the joy of the Lord in such miserable conditions, you heckle the heathens. They just cannot handle it. But it is a real witness to them that you’re placing your trust in God. And you just never know. God may have allowed an adversity in your life, just so you could be a witness to bring someone to a faith in Jesus Christ. Now, doesn’t that make you smile?

– excerpted from Love The More Excellent Way by Chuck Smith

continue reading the views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Calvary Southampton

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