Joy Rising – October 28, 2012 (Psalm 4:7)
‘You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.’ (PS 4:7)
Give me joy any day, the kind based on knowing God is at work deep within us to will and to do what HE wills. Some earmarks of joy to me:
How Jesus transformed my homosexual lust into same-gender friendships that are all the more powerful because of their purity. In such bonds I rejoice. Through these men, I have discovered a sustained care not subject to the fickleness of ‘eros’. A wise man said: Sex seals the bond between husband and wife; it perverts friendship between comrades. ’ Jesus alone transforms lust into enduring love.
How Jesus transformed Annette and I into really good gifts for each other. We both entered into romantic love with a low view of our capacity to love. We now rejoice in the expansive presence of Jesus in our love, summoning us to give beyond our limited self-perceptions. Besides the Mercy of God, my joy today is simply Annette. I marvel at the quality of love we share. My cup runs over.
How Jesus transformed fear concerning our kids into faith. How do you not fret over the fate of children who must grow beyond ‘thy parents will be done’? Annette and I pray together for our kids daily. What else can we do? In spite of wrecked cars and court sentences and bailouts, guess what? One Greater upholds them and uses all things to draw each child to Himself in just the way (s)he needs. When we see evidence of this, and we do, we rejoice.
Joy cannot be taken from us. Its Source is steadfast, the anchor of our soul. (Heb. 6:19)
October 28, 2012
‘You have filled my heart with greater joy that when their grain and new wine abound.’ (Ps. 4:7)
Some years ago, a young married couple, both of whom came out of homosexuality, conceived a child then endured much suffering through a difficult pregnancy and an even harder delivery. We feared for the life of mother and child. At the same time, we read of a celebrity ‘lesbian’ whose new girlfriend had, with the help of a surrogate, popped out babies like cookies from the oven.
I recall such a mix of emotions as to why the wicked seem to prosper while the righteous travail. Then I witnessed the joy of this much-tested couple whose boast is a beautiful child. The light of Glory shines on them. Grateful and utterly dependent on Him for all, their joy surpasses the happiness of prosperity.
‘Do not let your heart envy sinners but always be zealous for a fear of the Lord. There is surely a future and hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.’ (Prov. 23: 17, 18)
‘Show us the difference between joy and happiness. Show us Your face. You alone set the aching heart free. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and to other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.’