Midweek Wake-Up, November 8, 2017
What makes you stand on your head for joy? Before coming to a saving faith in Christ Martin Luther said that “if I could believe that God was not angry with me, I would stand on my head for joy”
Luther describes his conversion experience like this:
“At last meditating day and night, by the mercy of God, I began to understand that the righteousness of God is that through which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith. Here I felt as if I were entirely born again and had entered paradise itself through the gates that had been flung open”
This makes good sense. To understand that you are condemned as guilty before a righteous judge. That you have no effective plea before the overwhelming and incontestable evidence arrayed against you. In fact, the reality is that you’ve been carrying this crushing burden of guilt for years. But then to understand that after sentencing the judge himself stepped down from his bench to make full and total payment for your guilt – himself. Taking the full punishment for your wrongs to himself, in order that you
may go free! Wouldn’t you be overwhelmed with joy? If we’re truly Christian, this amazing joy should be ours for this is what God has done for us in sending His own son.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
This is a joy that cannot be taken away from us through the trials, burdens, and tribulations of this short life. Last Sunday my children strongly advised me to not try to stand on my head for joy! But even if we don’t physically participate in this practice the thinking seems to be that we will be filled with such joy that we will do something outrageous or amazing like standing on your head.I’ve got doubts about whether Luther literally stood on his head because of the joy of knowing a perfect righteousness given
to him through Christ. However, I do know that the joy he experienced in the gospel enabled him to do something even more incredible. That joy within this Augustinian monk was the spark that turned the 16th Century world upside down and changed it forever!
What will God do through you with this ‘stand on your head’ joy? Why not talk to God about that.