Sunday, November 25, 2012


"Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright"
Psalm 97:11

We want our lives to be filled with light and joy. Yet so often, they aren't. Discouragement, depression, and darkness threaten regularly. Why? Are we targets of dark enemy? Are we victims of circumstance in a fallen world? Or might we be contributing to the problem ourselves?
There are many possible sources for our dark days, but one of them is a possibility we rather not face. We don't want to think that we're responsible for our downcast hearts, but we may be. God has given a promise. Those who are righteous see light, and those who are upright in heart have joy. The blessings of a life that is right with God are certain.
Why don't we experience those blessings as often as we'd like? It can't be that the promise of God has failed. Perhaps we are not righteous or upright in heart. Perhaps what is stealing our joy is a struggle within us for dependence on Jesus' righteousness and victory over sin.
Think about it: We are most discouraged when we feel defeated. And when do we feel defeated? When we know that God has commanded an obedience or an attitude that we just can't seem to comply with. In other words, sin gets us down. The primary struggle in the human heart is a battle of the will. When we lack joy, it may be because we're losing that battle - or, more accurately, winning it when we shouldn't. The heart laments its own unbelief and disobedience, and when it does, all peace leaves.
Do we lack joy? It probably isn't a fault of our circumstances or our brain chemistry, although those can certainly have their effects. Look first at our heart. Is it questioning promises that God has emphasized? Is it reluctant to surrender all our cares to Him? Does it trust His will and comply with His purposes? Is it able to say, even when life is tough, that God's grace is greater? Those are hard questions, but our internal struggles demand answers. We can't know peace until these are settled. He promised: Joy and light come to those who are unreservedly His.
(an extract from: Worship The King by Christ Tiegreen)

"If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as, just as I have obeyed my Father's command and remain in His love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." John 15:10-11

The Surest Mark of a Christian is Not Faith,
or Even Love, But Joy.
Samuel Shoemaker 

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