I suppose Mrs. Allan is too old to dance and sing and of course it wouldn’t be dignified for a minister’s wife. But I can just feel she’s glad to be a Christian and that she’d be one even if she could get to heaven without it.Anne of Green Gables
Anne of Green Gables has been my favorite novel, second only to Stepping Heavenward, since I was a little girl. I’ve read it countless times. This spring, I downloaded it on Audible and have been listening to it over the last few weeks. I was standing at the sink one afternoon, scrubbing some dishes after lunch, when Anne met Mrs. Allan, the new minister’s wife. Then Anne described her to Marilla in a way that really captivated me.
But I can just feel she’s glad to be a Christian and that she’d be one even if she could get to heaven without it.
She was glad. Not because of what she got out of being a Christian, just because she was one. She was His. The thought prompted the question that would logically follow.
Am I glad to be a Christian?
Have we forgotten gladness?
It’s very easy to unintentionally begin to think of following Christ as a way to get to heaven and avoid the punishment we so deserve, and that is all. It does indeed include those things, but what Christ did on Calvary gave us so much more than mercy, He gave us grace. He gave us the ability and new desire to know, love, and enjoy God.
We are now, not only saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus from eternal damnation, but we have been adopted as children by the Father. We can come to Him, and be loved by Him. We can know Him as a Friend, a Shepherd, a Comforter, a Savior, a King. Ought we not to be the most glad people on this earth?
But how sad that often, we are not. Often we forget gladness entirely. At least, I do. But the Scriptures are filled with gladness.
The Israelites are rebuked in Deuteronomy for not serving the Lord with gladness.
The Psalms are filled with commands to be glad, and expressions of gladness in the salvation received.
The prophets speak of the coming day when all will be made new, and the reason we have to be glad concerning it.
Matthew reminds us to be glad because our treasure is in heaven.
Paul writes in his letter to the Corinthians that he is glad to spend and be spent for their souls. He encourages the Philippians to be glad with him and rejoice.
Consider these examples.
Psalm 16:9 reads:
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
Consider Psalm 40:16:
But may all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; may those who love Your salvation say continually, “Great is the LORD!”
Or in Isaiah, when he writes of the coming day when death will be swallowed up forever, and tears will be wiped away:
It will be said on that day, “Behold, this is our God; we have waited on Him, that He might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him: let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation.
Or Paul who writes in Philippians 2:17-18 from a difficult and hard circumstance of gladness:
Even if I am poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
Let us remember gladness…
Dear friends, we on this earth, the children of God redeemed and bought by the precious blood of Christ, have more reason than any other to be glad. If you were to die tomorrow, would those who knew you say you lived with gladness?
We do not need ideal circumstances, ease, answers, wealth, or health to be glad. We have God, whom we can know intimately and personally. Right here, right now, regardless of what trials we may face. Is that not more than enough reason enough to be glad?
Oh, may we be glad people. Glad in our Savior. Glad in our salvation. Glad in our living hope.
May it be said of us too, “I can just feel she’s glad to be a Christian.”
Lord, teach us to be glad in You. May our gladness ever grow as we know You more.