The Call To Joy and Pain: Chapter 2 - A Forgotten Treasure (Ajith Fernando)

The Call To Joy and Pain: Chapter 2 - A Forgotten Treasure (Ajith Fernando)





It seems that people don't have a taste for joy and that they would rather have success in sports or in their career or in sexual conquest or through material prosperity or in taking revenge against someone who has hurt them... 


Perhaps the most extreme form of this quest for satisfacion at the cost of joy is addiction... They sacrifice so much for a shallow kick... 


Not having tasted the fullness of joy, they are too easily satisfied with the fake satisfaction that these other activities bring... 


"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! 

Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!" 

(Psalm 34:8) 




We can describe the joy that the gospel brings as "the joy of the Lord" (Nehemiah 8:10) or as rejoicing in the Lord (Philippians 4:4). This joy has as its base some great truths that undergird our lives. 


We believe in God. 

We believe that he loves us and that in love he gave us his Son to die for us. 

We believe that he has made us his children and looks after us and that he's for us so that no one can stand against us. 

He lives in us, banishing loneliness. 

He turns the bad things that happen to us into good things. 

He loves us more than the unkindness that we experience in life, and he is able to comfort and to heal us when we are wounded.  

He has prepared an inheritance that we will receive after this life that is more wonderful than anything we could ever imagine... 


"You make known to me the path of life; 

in your presence there is fulness of joy; 

at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."  

(Psalm 16:11) 


"Though the fig tree should not blossom,  

nor fruit be on the vines, 

the produce of the olive fail  

and the fields yield no food,  

the flock be cut off from the fold  

and there be no herd in the stalls,  

yet I will rejoice in the Lord;  

I will take joy in the God of my salvation." 

(Habbakuk 3:17-18) 


We may be weeping inside, we may be hurting from the bruises we have received, but deep down we know that God is with us and that he is our source of joy... 




What deliverance God brings... We have something more reliable than fickle experiences. Our life is founded on unchanging truths that open us to a love relationship with a unchanging God... 


"You will know the truth, 

And the truth will set you free."  

(John 8:32) 


"If the Son sets you free, 

You will be free indeed." 

(John 8:36) 


These experiences of Christians are uncertain things that cannot be relied on because they depend on circumstances. The reality that lies behind these experiences does not change with the change of circumstances. Our experience is based on unchanging truths that lead to a love relationship with an unchanging God... 


The joy of the Lord is deeper, more reliable and more fulfilling than the various pleasures people are looking for without God.

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