Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rejoicing in the Lord

I really liked this quote from the book Counterfeit Gods, by Tim Keller:


"Rejoicing" in the Bible is much deeper than simply being happy about something. Paul directed that we should "rejoice in the Lord always" (Philippians 4:4), but this cannot mean "always feel happy," since no one can command someone to always have a particular emotion. To rejoice is to treasure a thing, to assess its value to you, to reflect on its beauty and importance until your heart rests in it and tastes the sweetness of it. "Rejoicing" is a way of praising God until the heart is sweetened and rested, and until it relaxes its grip on anything else it thinks it needs." 

Good stuff. And so so true.

Recently my friend Pamela posted a quote on her blog that I also really liked and ties into this quite well (incidentally, it's a David Foster Wallace that Tim quoted in church). 


“In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship — be it JC or Allah, bet it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles — is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.

If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. Worship your body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly. And when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally grieve you. On one level, we all know this stuff already. It’s been codified as myths, proverbs, clich├ęs, epigrams, parables; the skeleton of every great story. The whole trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart, you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out. But the insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they’re evil or sinful, it’s that they’re unconscious. They are default settings.”

So are you rejoicing (resting) in the LORD or something else- your good deeds, your capabilities, your intelligence, your money? All of these will fail you, but Jesus Christ is a strong tower, a might fortress, and rejoicing in Him, His death and resurrection, His payment for your sins, well, that will never fail you. It is reason to rejoice indeed.

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