Thursday, September 21, 2017

Non-Contingent Joy

Written by: Scotty Smith

     There are many who say, "Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!" You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:6-8 ESV

Heavenly Father, what a great attitude-checking, faith-focusing passage. We want to affirm with the Psalmist that nothing has to change for us to experience your joy in the core of our being--not people or politics, our wealth or the weather, our suffering or our "situations."

We don't love you simply because you make our "grain and wine" to abound. We reject Satan's assumption that the only reason we, your children, love you, is because you buy our affections with "the good life." (Job 1:9-11). Your name is Abba Father, not Sugar Daddy.

We love you because you created us for your glory and redeemed us by Jesus. Indeed, we love you because you first loved us, and gave Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement and propitiation for our sins. We're grateful for the many creature comforts you've given us, but we adore you for the acceptance and affection you have lavished on us in the gospel.

Many angrily throw questions like these in your direction: "Who can show us any good?  Where is your God now?  How can you say God is good? Where was your God when....? How could your God possibly...? Why doesn't your God...?"

Yet, Lord, we lie down and sleep in the peace of your Fatherly sovereignty, for you alone, O LORD, make us dwell in the safety of your inexhaustible grace.

There's no safer place, in life or in death, than to be in Christ. Because you've hidden our lives in Jesus, not a hair can fall from our heads, not a breath can be taken from our lungs, not a beat can be missed by our hearts apart from your sovereign purposes and pleasure. And should we die in the next hour, our hearts will forever proclaim, "Our God has done all things well!" So very Amen we pray, in Jesus' beautiful and bounteous name.


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