The Point Is Joy
In the bible, we are commanded to praise and glorify God.
The Westminster Shorter Catechism: Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.
Rob Bell in Velvet Elvis writes,”The point is our joy. That is when God is most pleased. They are not two different things: God’s Joy… our joy. They are the same. The kind of joy God speaks of transcends… struggles and difficulties.”
There is real deep joy to experience as a Christian. The gospel tells us that no matter what we have done or haven’t done God loves us anyway and wants us to glorify and enjoy Him forever. God is worthy of praise from every mouth, confession from every tongue, worship from every creature. How glorious, how magnificent the name of God, father, son, and Holy Spirit: Who created and sustains the world in His grace and by His compassion saved and saves the world. God doesn’t need us and that is why Jesus dying naked and shivering on a cross is so amazing. Jesus forsook heaven to reconcile all of creation (not just Christians) to God that is the gospel the good news. God wants a personal relationship with us, God acts and we respond—we say yes or no. Our answer doesn’t change God. It changes us.
It is urgent that we respond to God in this life. I believe that God’s grace is sufficient for our needs, but this life the one we are living now is all we got, we need to respond to God and trust that God will handle the rest. We have an important choice to make. How we respond to the cross of Christ is the first step.
I don’t know about you, but I want to live my life in praise and thanksgiving to the God who loves me in spite of myself and with the hope that at the end of my journey God will say to me, “well done, good and faithful servant.”
I don’t always agree the things John Pipers says or writes, but I agree with him when he writes, “The pleasure Christians seek is the pleasure that is in God Himself. He is the end of our search, not the means to some further end. Our exceeding joy is the Lord—not the streets of gold or the reunion with relatives or any blessing of Heaven. “
We need to remember that God is in control. We are not. We don’t have to worry about things working out or not. God will handle it all. We just need to respond in sane, healthy, and loving ways to life. It’s not our job to worry about the future. We simply do the will of God. We simply live life to the full. We simply worship and glorify God in all we do. When we value what God has bestowed onto us and who we really are, God will entrust us with more. God will give us more to do and more to become.
Too much energy is wasted by fretting over how we will do what needs doing. We simply show up and God will handle the rest. My experience is that I get so nervous that I either shut down or shy away from what needs to be done. When I stand up and show up, I find that the doing for the most part is done almost by itself.
What has God given to you? What is God asking you to do? Where do you need to show up?
Is there something God is calling you to do?
Something you have put off for so long that you want to pretend it never crossed your mind. Something you want to do, but you fear will end up in disaster or worse, so you are ignoring it and hoping the desire will pass. There is a reason God has put that on your heart. God wants you to do that thing whatever it is. So do it. Just do it. Step out in faith, show up and let God handle the rest. Don’t worry that you may stumble, that you may fall flat on your face. God will use failure or success for your good and through you bless many others. Sometimes, and I know this to be true the things that we feel will be a disaster turn out to be the most beautiful.
May you discover and embrace the God whose grace sustains us, discipline corrects us, patience has borne with us, and love has redeemed us. I pray that God will help you to love everyone and be thankful for all your gifts by serving God and delighting in Him forever, from whose open hand we all have received much. I hope each of us will give our lives to advance the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Grace and Peace to all!