May grace and peace be multiplied to you. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
~ from 1 Peter 1
Oh beloved, it is true. We are exceedingly stronger than we know. And the reason we don’t know we are strong, is because we don’t know who we are.
Do you know who you are? You beloved (and me) are the friends of the most joyfully powerful Being who ever was, and is, and is to come. We have been made one with the One who knows perfectly what it is to be in joyful and powerful communion across eternity. And His joy spills out in infinite strength in and through a believer who allows Him to do it.
Why don’t we get it? You beloved (and often this fool of a writer) think that the joy of the L_rd is something we must grab ahold of or rustle up. However, just as any human attempt generally ends in failure, our attempts to try and be happy in our Christianity fall completely short. We manifest only our failure, and we get distracted by all the other things flying out of control all around us.
Can we get one thing straight? The joy of the L_rd is not about us, and neither is just about any other part of the gospel. In fact, one of the first things Jesus points out is that we are blessed if we are poor in spirit. We are blessed if we finally get that we could not, can not, and will not be able to do life on our own. And it is only in this place of confessing the truth of our weakness that we finally get it.
It is all about Jesus.
We then begin to read the Word as it is intended to be read. And we find the Word is not a rule book. We find that the Word is not a text wherein we can validate our viewpoint or behavior. We find that it is actually an infinitely Loving and powerful and joyful G_d reaching across the gulf created by our sinful state – and this same G_d putting us into a right relationship with Himself through Jesus. And finally, it is the Spirit of this same infinitely Loving and Joyful and Powerful Jesus that is at work in our lives.
And when we get it. The joy we experience… Yeah, unspeakable. – Makala Doulos is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a regular Freedom Fighter blogger
Think About This: Don’t pray that He would teach you to have joy; pray that the living God full of joy would enter into you. Don’t pray that He would teach you how to be peaceful; ask for the God of peace, the Prince of peace to infill you. Because if you try to imitate in your own strength, you will be a miserable replica. But if you allow the impartation of Jesus Christ to overtake you, suddenly it all works because it is Him imitating Himself, and He is very good at being God. Eric Ludy
Verses to Memorize: But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”— these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 2 Corinthians 2:9-10