Christian Joy naturally pushes you out of your comfort zone
We love comfort zones. However, when it comes to building something (think career, ambitions, etc.) you will eventually hear the phrase “need to get out of your comfort zone.” But it is called a comfort zone for a reason. In a high stress environment it becomes easy to retreat to a place of solace and/or solitude.
When you have been a Christian for a long time it becomes painstakingly simpler to become a pew-warmer. Your pastor will call you out (generally) during a sermon about revival. Why does it become easy to dissolve into the cushion? How do we get out of that stump.
At this point the leadership experts would come in with charts and data analysis, concluding with a 10 step plan to get out of your comfort zone. If you are really serious, you may get past step one or two. But actively thinking about climbing out of our comfort zone is mentally exhausting (already feeling it as this post is typed)!
Fortunately, there’s a Biblical way to get out of your comfort zone, and if you have been reading between the lines, it has something to do with joy.
John 4 tells the story of the woman at the well. Let’s specifically focus on the before and after with Jesus:
We find the woman approaching the well to draw water at an odd time of the day. The Bible says in John 4:6 that Jesus arrived at the well around noon. Appearing as a seemingly minor detail, drawing water at noon is an abnormal time of day to draw water. Why? Because it was around the hottest part of the day. Drawing and carrying water at this time is indeed inconvenient, just as going on a run at 4:00pm in the summer in Florida might not be the best time to do cardio. Furthermore, drawing water contained a social element, as women from around the town would gather to socialize. Coming in at noon (alone) indicates that this woman was lonely, an outcast in her immediate society. She made effort to avoid as many people as possible.
With her social-convention-shattering conversation with Jesus, this woman’s life was turned around. She learned about Jesus, who revealed her deepest secrets. Once Jesus revealed that she was talking to the Messiah, everything changed.
Note the change that takes place after the woman encounters Jesus. She leaves proclaiming loudly to the entire town about the Messiah. The once anti-social, stay out of the way woman became the center of attention in the entire village! The woman post Jesus became completely unrecognizable to the before Jesus version. No longer did her secret sins matter, no longer did she need to be ashamed of them. She had met the Messiah who brought joy and salvation into her life. And as a result, she became a herald in the same town she tried to become invisible in.
Being joyful in Jesus makes us do the unthinkable. It pulls us out of our comfort zone. But this woman needed an encounter with Jesus first. This led to a revelation about Jesus, which resulted in joy and excitement, leading her to the center of the crowd that once relegated her to the fringes.
That’s what Christian joy does folks!