The paradox of Joy
Think of all the things that make you feel Joyful. A few things that can make people feel joyful is money, drinking, drugs, sex, work, deceiving, getting a new computer etc. The problem is these feelings of joy are very short lived and ultimately end up becoming more of a burden they continuous joy. What if I were to day getting publically flogged and beaten could be a source to long lasting joy? Observe Paul and Silas’s source of long lasting Joy:
22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them.
Acts 16:22-25 NIV
I think this clearly shows the paradox of joy. Paul and Silas were spreading the word of god one moment, and they were getting beaten for the sake of Christ. While sitting in jail after being publically beaten, Paul and Silas are praying and singing hymns to the almighty lord.
Paul and Silas were on a revolutionary campaign to spread the word of god. Next the two of them were beaten yet they continued to praise the lord’s name for allowing them to spread his word. By the worlds standards this makes no sense. Imagine you are the CEO of the company Microsoft and you have been told to do and spread the word about a new product. On your way to the next city, your car gets stolen and you get severely beaten before thrown into jail. I know I would not be praising my bosses name for sending me on this journey. So why were Paul and Silas so happy to be beaten for the sake of Christ? Continue Reading:
26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. 27The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” 29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family. Acts 14:29-34
This Jailer had seen the Joy and love Paul and Silas had even after being beaten and was amazed. The jailer was amazed so much that he and his family entered into a relationship with Jesus. Still, why were the two men so joyful? They were so joyful because they were helping Christ build his kingdom by repairing the relationship between man and Christ.
This is the most intense sense of Joy that can be felt. To see someone enter into a relationship with Christ brings enough joy for Christians to withstand even the most extreme persecution.