The gospel, of course, is the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who became man, lived a perfect life, and suffered the wrath of God on the cross for sinners like you and me. By his substitutionary death everyone whom God calls will enjoy forgiveness of sins, reconciliation with God, and deliverance from his just and righteous wrath.
Given the ultimate importance of this message, our efforts as pastors are often directed primarily at proclaiming the gospel or protecting the truth of the gospel. Certainly, these are vital acts of stewardship that demand our constant attention. Yet the gospel is not only news to be believed and proclaimed, it is truth to be treasured and enjoyed. We must never become so consumed with proclamation and protection that we fail to apply the gospel to our own lives. For only then will we experience an intended effect of the gospel: “joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory” (1 Pet 1:8). Truly, God intends for the gospel to bring a joy beyond words and overflowing with the glory of God.
The key to such glorious joy is the consistent application of the gospel to one particular place that we as pastors can easily overlook: our own hearts. But as we meditate upon the gospel, its truths will unerringly produce joy—without fail, no question about it. Do you lack joy? Meditate on the gospel, the only stable ground for our joy.