God And My Emotions: Devotions From Time Of Grace

Jesus is joy

In popular culture the devil’s followers have all the fun and religious people are pitied as dry, sad, cheated, uptight, moralistic, crabby, judgmental, rigid hypocrites. Billy Joel sold a million records with his bouncy piano accompanying this philosophy: “I’d rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints; sinners are much more fun . . .”

That’s just a shabby excuse to go against your conscience and be selfish. In fact, Jesus is joy, not gloom, and a relationship with him gives you a reason to hum a tune all day long. Jesus himself projected such a joyful and celebratory vibe in his public ministry that he was criticized for not being sober and grim-faced enough. “They said to him, ‘John’s disciples often fast and pray, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours go on eating and drinking.’ Jesus answered, ‘Can you make the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them?’” (Luke 5:33,34).

The gospel of our forgiveness makes us all optimists. Satan is defeated, our sins forgiven, our guilt washed away, our debts paid, our future guaranteed. The Great Power of the universe is our Friend, Healer, Counselor, and Father. Our grave will be only a comfy bed where our body takes a little nap.

Grace has triumphed over condemnation, and mercy has triumphed over judgment. Let’s have some cake! And a song! Somebody tell Billy Joel how much fun we are.