Saturday, January 06, 2007

More Joy

“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.”
(Psalm 4:7 ESV)

Wow. What a statement! Kimberly and I read this last night while we were stretching and this verse jumped out at me. However, it is quite discouraging that even though I know this truth, I still long for the lifestyles of them whose “grain and wine abound.” I desire the lifestyle of those who are comfortable - those who have money and land and houses and the other accoutrements of this world. Yet it is still difficult for me to think about who I was even when I was seeking after these things. For, there was a time when I sought after the party lifestyle – promiscuity, strong drink, and whatever else made me feel good at the time. I thank the Lord that He chose to reveal to me that the way of this life ends in death and that there is a better way: the Way of the Master. Yet even acknowledging this truth, I also acknowledge that I am still tempted to leave this life of mine in hopes of something “easier,” less stringent, and more “freedom.” Yet I also know that this so-called “freedom” is really bondage to sin.
“When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regards to righteousness.
But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are
now ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have
been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to
sanctification, and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death,
but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans
But the truth is that God, through His gift of Christ Jesus and the deposit of the Holy Spirit guaranteeing things to come, has “put more joy in my heart” than any thing, any person, any relationship, any toy, any house, any car, or any thing else in all creation has ever been able, or will be able to give me. He has given me the epitome of joy – Christ Jesus Himself in who’s “presence there is fullness of joy” (Ps 16:11). He is the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15), the radiance of His glory (Heb 1:3), and the One who has shone His light “in our hearts to give the lights of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Cor 4:6). He has given me the greatest Joy the world has never known. The greatest Joy above all other joys. Just as He is King of kings and Lord of lords, He is also the Joy of joys. May I now “go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy” (Psalm 43:3).

Lord Jesus, please make this a true desire of my heart and may I truly see You as Joy eternal and Joy inexhaustible. May You alone satisfy this longing for Joy. In Your name I come to the altar of my God, my exceeding joy. Amen.

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