The Force of Joy

Encourage joy in the unlikeliest of places. Last night my “indescribably beautiful” wife showed us a a wonderful video of a group doing a “flash mob” performance of the Halleluja chorus from Handel’s Messiah in a shopping mall food court. Talk about the sacred invading the secular! It was like the kingdom of God routing the kingdom of darkness, not through the force of arms, but through the force of joy.

And it wasn’t just because they were singing about something “spiritual,” as incomparable and stirring as Handel’s composition is. Next, we watched a “flash mob” dance to “do-re-mi” from The Sound of Music in a Brussels train station.

There was no “sacred” content in this one, but God’s ever-present, inexhaustible cataract of joy was still evident, threatening to wash over the lonely, harried lives of passers-by. Since joy is a fruit of the Spirit, we should expect him to be present when joy breaks out. Remember, joy is God‘s territory, not the devil’s.

So I say encourage joy, wherever it can be found. It may open a well of longing that only God can satisfy, leading to everlasting joy.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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