Psa. 43:4 Then I will go to the altar of God,
to God my exceeding joy,
and I will praise you with the lyre,
O God, my God.
Have you ever tasted Elysium? You know, that place of eternal joy that is promised to all Christians. You thought you had to die to go to heaven? Absolutely not. Don’t you remember what Jesus said, “the kingdom of heaven is within you”? Paul said it like this, “the kingdom of heaven is not meat and drink (physical) but it is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit”. There is that joy thing again. We aren’t supposed to wait until we actually die to step over into the joy of joys. Unspeakable joy is all around you now.
Parris and I were recently teaching on the Great Awakening at the River Bible Institute in Tampa. As she was talking about Sarah Edwards I was reminded again of the intense, intimate joy that is poured out in revival. Here is a snippet of her story written by her husband trying to keep Sarah anonymous.
“The soul in the meantime has been as it were perfectly overwhelmed, and swallowed up with light and love and a sweet solace, rest and joy of soul, that was altogether unspeakable; and more than once continuing for five or six hours together, without any interruption, in that clear and lively view or sense of the infinite beauty and amiableness of Christ’s person, and the heavenly sweetness of his excellent and transcendent love; so that (to use the person’s own expressions) the soul remained in a kind of heavenly Elysium, and did as it were swim in the rays of Christ’s love, like a little mote swimming in the beams of the sun, or streams of his light that come in at a window; and the heart was swallowed up in a kind of glow of Christ’s love, coming down from Christ’s heart in heaven, as a constant stream of sweet light, at the same time the soul all flowing out in love to him; so that there seemed to be a constant flowing and reflowing from heart to heart.”
Sarah had been known to struggle with depression. Like all of us, dealing with day to day life (Sarah had eleven children) can be somewhat overwhelming. Sarah Edwards experienced an infusion of joy that changed everything for her. Her joy overflowed and her depression was gone. Today, you too can step into Elysium. Heaven’s joy is here now. Where do you find it? Of course it is in the presence of the Lord.