In C.S. Lewis’ spiritual autobiography, Surprised By Joy, he explains to his readers how he moved from atheism to theism and from theism to Christianity. And, as the title implies, the experience of deep, transcendent joy was close at hand every step of the way.
Lewis describes these moments as “stabs of joy”; moments that demanded his undivided attention. Moments in which his heart was captivated by something totally other. Something rich, something satisfying, something unlike anything this world had to offer. These stabs of joy occurred at different times and he characterizes them as glimpses of the divine.
When the “Hound of Heaven” made his final move, Lewis discovered that it was Christ who stood behind all true and lasting joy. He is the fountain who never ceases to flow, filling our hearts with beams of incredible beauty and lavishing love.
This is how the gospel stabs you with its all-encompassing joy. It’s when you realize that God (you know, the One you’d read about in the Bible) actually exists. This reality alone is enough to set the heart ablaze with wonder and joy.
It’s when the same creation you’ve looked at your whole life suddenly becomes a “dazzling theatre” testifying of this God’s power and unequaled wisdom.
It’s when it dawns on you that this God who dwells in self-existent glory is the same One who stooped down and entered in to human history as a man Himself. This He did to save you from the penalty of your sins. It’s when you are leveled by this wonder of all wonders… that Jesus, God in human flesh, without even the trace of sin, truly, really, actually died for you. I am convinced that God, in His sovereign mercy, can melt even hardest of hearts when He shines the light of this truth in to it.
So, have you been stabbed with gospel joy?