Yet, as we catch a glimpse at their dilemma through the window of scripture we find them praying and singing hymns to God. It is reminiscent of Acts 5:41, when the apostles were excited when they had stood before the Sanhedrin and cast out... the apostles rejoiced because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace in the name of Jesus.
Why would these men, these followers of Christ rejoice in the midst of suffering? What kind of joy is it that counts it a blessing to suffer? What kind of disposition does it take for a prisoner to sing hymns of praise? What kind of Joy is it that caused the disciples when facing death in face, viewed it as a great victory?
This joy that we see embodied in Paul and Silas impromptu praise session in the jail is the joy that Christ Jesus came to reveal. John 15:11, Jesus says, “I tell you this that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.”
It is God’s desire for us to have this possession, this disposition of joy.
It is in pursuit of this joy that we find our friends in the movie classic, The Wizard of Oz, travelling down the yellow brick road. Each one of the character would give a slightly different definition to joy, but each one is looking for that which they perceive would fill the void in their life, that would bring a sense of completeness to their world.
The Scare Crow – If I only had a brain (pursuing wisdom)
Like the Scare Crow, so many today look for a sense of completeness in knowledge, in wisdom. Scripture responds in 1 Corinthians, “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?” 1 Corinthians 1:20 NIV
While it is true that God’s Word challenges us to live not as unwise but as wise, it is imperative that we realize were wisdom is found. The Scare Crow was convinced that the all powerful Oz could provide him with a brain. It was his dream. We find in Job 12:13
“To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.” Colossians 2 informs us that “in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
The Tin Man believed that the answer to the void in his life was the ability to feel emotion. But for the Christian, we know that true heart goes beyond mere emotionalism
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
For the Cowardly Lion, he hoped that the road to Oz would be the path to courage. We Know Christ have come to discover that courage itself in not a source of joy, courage is a direct result of a trusting in God’s promises:
1 Cor 16:13-14
Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.
Be strong and courageous, for you shall give this people possession of the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous
Dorothy simply wanted to get back home… and the great news is this We have a home, we are to live our lives here as strangers: 1 Peter 2:11 - Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world; 1 Peter 1:17 – Live your lives as strangers.