Reasons to Rejoice

17 July 2011

God speaks, and it is.  When He said, “Let there be light,” there was light — end of story.

David depended on this for his spiritual well-being: “Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity.”  David sinned; no doubt about it.  While he harbored his sin, it ruined him, but when he confessed it he was forgiven and the Lord did not count it against him.  If the Lord said David was righteous, then who could argue?  And so David was free from his burden: “Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!”

Let’s think through the implications of that.  If God declares us righteous not because we have earned the declaration, but simply because we trust him, casting ourselves on His mercy, then it follows that we have peace with God.  Think about it — what disrupts our peace with God?  Sin, right?  But what sin could we commit that we cannot confess, and be forgiven?

And if we have peace with God, then we have access to His presence.  What could keep us away?

And if we have access to God’s presence, then this is worth rejoicing about, is it not?  Moreover, if we know that we have access to His presence at any time, then it follows that His glory shines on (and therefore through) us, and even when we die we will have access to His glory.  This gives us hope; we know how the story ends.

But not only that, we also know that the end of the Story will be reflected in the little stories of our life, now.  So when a difficulty arises today, we know that the hard times teach us to persist, and by persisting we become different — better — people.  The sort of people who see hope not just in the far future, but in the present, who benefit from difficulty rather than being defeated by it.

How can we be like this?  Because the Holy Spirit is in us, and He pours out God’s love in our hearts.  We are able to love the people who create difficulties for us, not because we are so wonderful but because the love of God flows through us.

Just how far will God’s love carry us?  We would think twice about giving up a kidney for someone we love.  There’s no way we’d give up a kidney for a stranger, let alone a convicted murderer on death row.  And that’s just a kidney; we could live without a kidney.  God’s love is demonstrated in Jesus giving His life for us, and He did it when we were His enemies.

If God gave us His Son to bring us to Him when we were His enemies, what will He do for us, now that we are His friends?

We still sin, and in this life there are consequences for sin, but considering all He’s done for us, will God not certainly save us from His present wrath against sin?

So here are our reasons to rejoice: We will enter into God’s glory when we die, we can reflect that glory even in our current difficulties, and what’s more, He loves us more deeply than we can imagine.

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