Christian joy, atheist despair and the good news of Christianity

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Australian online opinion writer and lecturer in ethics and philosophy at several Melbourne theological colleges, Bill Muehlenberg, in his essay The Unbearable Heaviness of Being (In a World Without God) declares:

Announcing, and believing, that God is dead has consequences. And it is we who suffer the most for it. We cannot bear the whole universe on our shoulders. We were not meant to. We must let God be God. Only then can men be men. Only then can we find the way forward to be possible, and the burdens not insurmountable.[1]

Christian Joy

Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane by Heinrich Hofmann.

See also: Resources for leaving atheism and becoming a Christian

The Reverend Bruce Goettsche writes:

Our study of the book of Philippians focuses on the pursuit of joy. But before we can pursue joy we must have some kind of an understanding what this joy is. What does a joyful person look like? How do you distinguish a joyful person from a happy person, or a giddy person, or a foolish person?

...Joy is something that is unaffected by circumstances. It is a state of mind and an orientation of the heart. Joy is deep. It is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. This morning we continue our study of the first 11 verses of Philippians chapter one. And in these verses we can get a good start on understanding some of the characteristics of Christian joy.

In the opening words following the salutation Paul writes,

'I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now,. . . . It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart; for whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-5, 7-8)'

Paul tells the Philippians that he has been praying for them. But he doesn't just pray, he prays with joy.

...we have seen some of the characteristics of a joyful Christian Heart. It is a shared joy. It is not something that is isolated and individual, it is a joy we share with millions around the world and makes us part of a tremendous movement of God.

It is also a joy that is anchored in God's work and promise.[2]

For more information please see: Resources for leaving atheism and becoming a Christian and Evidence for Christianity

Notes