Thursday, November 29, 2012
While I was driving to work, I began to consider my latest batch of Bible passages about joy. This batch is from a list of proverbs in the Bible. This thinking led to a chain of thoughts.
1. The proverbs associated with joy seem to be taken up with living out God’s design for man. In other words, joy comes when a person has thoughts, attitudes, words and actions that agree with the life God intended man to live. The basic name the Bible gives to this pattern of living is “holiness.” When people live in a holy manner, they have joy and people around them have joy. Family life works better. Cities work better. Individuals work better.
2. Of course, I am reminded about the current reality. One does not have to listen to the news too long to realize that people are not living in a holy pattern, in a way that God would prefer we do not live. And if people are not living in a holy way, they are not experiencing too much joy.
3. So, what can be done to turn the situation around? We are designed to live a life of joy. We are not living in joy because we do not live in agreement with our design. We could move toward holy living. But people cannot live in holiness. History teaches that time and again.
4. One way that holiness has been “imposed” on people is when they are overwhelmed with the presence of God. (Imposed is an incorrect word. Imposed denotes coercion. And people cannot be coerced to welcome the presence of God. Unless one says that they imposed God’s presence on themselves.) This type of implanting of holiness has been referred to in history as a “revival.” God makes himself know in a community, and people’s hearts, attitudes and life change. America has undergone several revivals. China has undergone some too. Individuals change; and good sweeps across society.
I guess the only sure way for good to sweep away evil is for the world to undergo revival.