God commands me to rejoice (Philippians 4:4), I want to rejoice, but moving from dry to delighting is impossible for me to achieve myself.
Frankly my heart feels more like a desert than a spring of living water. Joy in the Lord is a fading memory, taunting me with glimpses of herself while remaining beyond my grasp.
Fortunately, that fading memory and some rare rational thinking prompted me to watch a DVD of John Piper speaking on this very topic last night. His passion for the topic and sincerity in exhorting his listeners to fight for joy is greatly encouraging. Something he said has stuck in my mind:
You must fight, but only God can give joy
Sometimes God ordains that joy remain elusive. Even so, I must continue to fight for joy.
Satan would have me believe there is no way out of the pit, that life will get worse rather than better. Faith takes hold of the encouragement of other Christians who have travelled this Way longer than I and of the Word of God. Faith acknowledges the struggle, the dryness, and resolves to continue seeking God regardless of how I might feel.
O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you;
my flesh faints for you,
as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life,
my lips will praise you. (Psalm 63:1-3 ESV)
For now, the best thing I can think to do is to read and ponder God’s Word looking for the glory of Christ in it. I desire to desire God. This is enough to get started.
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Image of desert dunes: iStockphoto