Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

I want to be happy, don't you? I love laughing until I lose some kind of bodily fluid. Aren't those moments great? Happy. And you know what is cool? God made laughter--our happiness (when pure) does bring Him pleasure.

I was reading John Piper this morning--still slowly progressing through A Godward Life. He referred to Ephesians 2:7 in the portion I read today. It says, "(God made us alive in Christ) that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus." Consider this, Piper expounds,
  • God has planned the coming ages for the purpose of showing the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us. The amount of this grace and kindness is described in terms of riches and wealth and the degree...immeasurable...The whole account (of grace and kindness) will be spent on us (for multiple ages). (p. 292)

Did you get that? God is going to spend ages lavishing us with His great grace and kindness. This is something to be very happy about. And the truth is He has already begun to pour out His grace upon us through Christ. Jesus came so that we could have life--free from the power of sin and death. While we were still enemies of God, He sent His son to die a redeeming death. This is grace. This is immeasurable kindness.

"So why is my life so blankity-blank right now?" you ask, "I am not very happy." There are two basic possibilities:

  1. You have stepped outside of God's will and are now facing consequences of your choices. But here is the amazing part--you are never too far out of God's reach. He wants to bring you back to Him. Seek Him and He promises to be found.
  2. You are experiencing a season of trial and testing. Why? So that you will become more and more like Christ--fully dependent on the sufficiency of God. As James challenges, "count it all joy when you fall into various trials." (1:2) It is through the Refiner's fire that we become free from impurities. He will be gracious. He is forming and purifying your faith. And He is worth it.

There are coming ages of immeasurable riches. But even now, revel in the grace of this God we call Father. He loves you, He loves me, and He desires to give life abundant in spite of our circumstance.

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