"God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in him in the midst of loss, not prosperity." --John Piper

Monday, November 8, 2010

Where did my joy go?

Galatians 4:15 "What has happened to your joy? I can testify that , if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me."


When Paul first gave the Gospel to the Galatians, they were overwhelmed with joy. They loved the Gospel and they loved Paul for sharing it with them. I find that awesome. They loved it so much they would have torn out their own eyes and given them to Paul.


"Here, Paul, you take these eyes. Yours do not seem to be functioning so well, and having my eyes might enable you to be a more effective minister of the Gospel. "


Wow!

 
Then the law crept back in. Jews were the culprit in this case, but they don't have to be the only ones responsible for this kind of thought. Don't we still do it today whenever we fall back on the trap of focusing on ourselves and what we do. But isn't it ironic that when we focus on ourselves our joy fades!


Remember Moses? Whenever he returned from the mountain, he had to wear a veil to hide is face, which was glowing from being in the presence of God. But over time, his face returned to normal. Perhaps it was just the day to day dealing with it all that helped it go.


Maybe that is why, when I sit in church sometimes, instead of being filled with joy, I find myself squirming in my seat. I am hearing social gospel, or moral deism instead of The Gospel. The Good News.




So I sit here and wonder...where do I go from here? I was reading in Ezekiel, and came across this verse (2:5) And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them.


So it is not whether or not I am happy, or whether or not they might be offended if I speak a truth that they might not be comfortable with. It is not about me convicting them or failing to convict them. It is not about me or them at all, it is about GOD. I think in some ways I have been letting them rob me of my joy. I have been robbing myself of my joy. And I want it back.


The prophets were never guaranteed success. God told them to go, and they went. Okay, so sometimes they grumbled...


So I believe that I must find my joy only in Christ. And I must speak freely and honestly about what I believe the Gospel to be.


So I suppose I better get ready for the ride. Somehow, reading the book of Jonah seems appropriate right now...

2 comments:

Kansas Bob said...

I love how that verse in Hebrews says of Jesus that he endured for the joy set before him. It reminds me that joy transcends everything in our lives. We experience joy when we connect with the invisible.

I ditto your thoughts about sharing even when it makes people feel uncomfortable. Once I make a relational connection with a person I find that the relationship cannot grow if I am not able to be transparent. Being is transparent and vulnerable is what friendship is all about.

Spherical said...

Thanks. It is always a struggle when things do not go simply or as we would plan them. But things seldom do, at least from my experience. Growth is a painful but necessary process.