The fight for joy
Man… my heart is foolish. Every now and again I get a little melancholy – a little self-pitying, a bit quieter, more reserved. And usually I’ll dwell in it – thinking of me, losing myself in the feeling, sitting in it.
But I caught myself. I said ‘God – You’re amazing. You are good. You are worthy of everything. I will find joy in You!’
Why that response?
Last week a guy called Andrew Wilson spoke to us during a training week about fighting for joy. And his talk blew me off my feet – in the words of a friend, “I’m going to completely wallpaper my bedroom with this!” What was the gist?
It was this:
God has made it so that what we ought to do and what brings us greatest pleasure in life are one and the same.
John Piper would put it this way:
God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.
And the bells went off in my head, light bulbs, everything – because I realised this: walking with God is supposed to be joyful. Not tiresomely dutiful. Or hopelessly demanding. Or endlessly exacting. Or wearily burdensome. Not what I’d been experiencing for years.
It means freedom. It means running from sin not because I should, but because I know in the end sin brings misery, and God has joy in store for the righteous. Why would I want misery!? It means the guilt is gone when I don’t do my ‘quiet time’. It means in the morning I get up and open my Bible not to tick a box and breathe a sigh of relief that I’ve started the day ‘right’ (!), but to pursue God and through that, joy. So now why wouldn’t I spend time with God?!
I’m not saying that we only follow after God because it makes us happy. Don’t misquote me – Andrew Wilson didn’t say that. But ultimately loving God, blessing God and doing His will bring us joy, because we’re doing what we were made to do.
This might sound simple to you. You’re saying, “duh! How did you not already have that figured out?” Well, that’s fine. This is the area God needed to work on me in. And I’m glad He’s slowly showing me what pursuing joy in Him means.
That’s all. Awesome sauce.