• Our hope-filled future is bound up in sharing the story of Jesus, in discipling others, in bringing those disciples together into communities of believers, and in developing and releasing those believers to create other communities... till Jesus the King comes again!

The Peace-Joy Connection

Many of us often dissociate elements of the Christian life and journey to the point where we compartmentalize the work of God’s Spirit in our lives.  For example, there’s the ‘peace’ box in our lives wanting to experience God’s piece.  We might do a word study on the idea of ‘peace’ and draw a number of helpful conclusions.  Then there’s the ‘joy’ box.  This is different from the ‘peace’ box and we’ll probably look at different biblical texts than those we looked at for ‘peace’.Kelly---Joy-and-Peace-762524

Now there is nothing wrong with this approach.  It just limits us from a more comprehensive understanding of what God is doing in our lives.  I was sharing a teaching on Isaiah 9:1-6 recently when I began to see this larger perspective. I was focused primarily on the notion of Jesus as our “Prince of Peace”; bringing that calm assurance of His sovereign care and work in the midst of struggles and difficulties.  What I discovered though as I looked at these verses was that in the larger sphere of life, peace gives rise to joy.  It has to; there is an interconnectedness we just cannot ignore.

God sought to re-establish peace with us. The Son came into our world to break the power of sin; so that ‘the people living in darkness would see a great light.’  Such a truth causes joy to spill out of our hearts as we consider at this time of the year, God’s incredible effort to bring peace, to reconcile people to Himself.

However, what if we applied this notion to discipleship?

I asked myself the question: If such key elements of our Christian experience are interconnected in this way, what impact should this have on how I disciple others?   One outcome would be the need to be more ‘connected’ in my discipleship of others; showing them how the elements of the Christian life influence one another, rather than treating them as individual ‘topics’.  Another outcome would be that discipleship is best carried out in community.  I cannot see all the interconnectedness that is there.  I need others to help me and to help others to see those other facets and push me to grow more in my love and awe at this relationship that God has entered me into with Him.

Discipleship implies connection: connecting with others to help them connect with God.  It is also helping another see the connectedness of the Christian experience as well as grasping that reality for myself.

 

2 Responses

  1. Great insight! If we are fully grasped by fulness of the gospel, all of God’s blessings are interconnected. Hope, joy, peace, love, etc. are all products of God’s gracious gospel operating through the agency of the Holy Spirit. In Gal. 5: 22, 23 “the fruit of the Spirit” is singular. All components of this singular fruit are interconnected.

    The Thessalonians, for example, received the gospel in much tribulation yet with the JOY of the Holy Spirit. (I Thess. 1: 6) Shalom, peace, is so much more than the product of reconciliation leading to the absence of hostility –as important as that is. Since nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus according to the gospel, circumstances should not affect our joy and peace. (Romans 8: 28 – 39). We can experience by God’s grace that total well being of shalom with joy in all circumstances good and bad through faith in the gospel. All blessings are tied together in the gospel even in times of persecution, illness, unemployment, warfare, terrorism, etc.

    The question is this. Do I live and teach the gospel in this way? .

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