Joy

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

There are moments in life when I feel such great joy that I am overwhelmed–especially recently. And I promised myself that, one of these times, I’d write about it, which I am doing now.

Somehow I managed to go through a good portion of my life without believing that true happiness is possible. When I was found by my beautiful Savior Jesus Christ, I knew joy then, and that joy was mostly based in hope: hope for a redeemed heart, a heart at peace with God, a heart that dwells in his love and is no longer oppressed by evil. I was given glimpses of what the love of God brings to the human heart, and that is a beautiful thing, and I believed God and his promise for me to deliver that. But there has always nagged in the back of my head the sense that the true release is yet to come; yes I hope for the kingdom of God, but can I really be happy now?

I don’t want to ask that question in the wrong way. I don’t want to ask if I can have “my best life now,” as it is falsely offered in various corruptions of Christianity. We are destined for suffering, and being happy isn’t the most important thing; it is not what we should seek. We should “seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness…” That is true. But also “…and all these things will be added unto you.”

What I want to express is this: God has blessed me, enormously. I am actually grateful to be alive now; I knew before that I ought to be grateful for this, but in truth I wasn’t. And, not only that, I wished I were grateful for the promises of God to me, for the new heavens and the new earth, for eternal fellowship with him. I wished that I were, but I wasn’t, so much of the time. I didn’t feel it; I believed, but something in my heart always held back.

I believe God has broken this barrier by showing me true joy from his own hand. But my heart is still inclined this way, inclined to trample God’s good gifts, to forget them. And it makes me sad to know this, to know that in a few days, in maybe a few hours, I might, like stubborn Israel, forget the works of God and turn again to myself, to become cynical, to see all his work in a different light, to submit to fear and worry and self-concern, and complain about what I don’t have. Pray for me, that I’d remember God’s blessing, that he’d show me his grace even as I forget his love.

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