Tag Archives: deep joy

The Joy of the Lord

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, December 28, 2015

refiner's fire

The Joy of the Lord

One of the so-called mortal sins is acedia—sadness of heart or resignation. Close cousin to depression. I know depression. I have friends and acquaintances who are quite familiar with almost constant sadness of heart, depression, even despair at times.

How is it that we here in the United States can live in such a materially rich time, yet feel so empty? So desperately sad? Boredom doesn’t even touch it. The deep feeling goes much further to the soul’s interior than just that.

Yes, it seems like an insidious disease, almost an unseen plague. And those who are not afflicted do not, and cannot, possibly understand the deep pain. The desperate fear and anxiety. It is truly an inside job. On the interior.

Monastic literature had more than a nodding acquaintance with acedia, though. I feel deeply for those so afflicted, in the centuries past. I pray they had some relief.

Relief can come from God, to some extent. (Not to the exclusion of everything else, though! Please, listen to your doctor or therapist. Please, please.)

As I was saying, joy—deep and abiding joy—can come from God. God delights in giving joy to God’s children. One of the compilers of this book of December meditations writes, “The joy of the Lord has gone through the poverty of the manger and the distress of the cross.” [1]

No easy joy, here, however. A biblical illustration, from several places in Scripture. It is through difficulty and distress that deep emotion goes through fiery trial, as if through a refiner’s fire. We can understand that, to a greater or lesser extent. Let us praise God for God’s presence with us. We celebrate Emmanuel—God with us, indeed, through the poverty of the manger and the distress of the cross.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] God Is in the Manger: Reflections on Advent and Christmas, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, trans. O.C. Dean, Jr., compiled and edited, Jana Riess (Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster/John Knox Press, 2010), 72.

Salvation—How Much More Profound Can It Get?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, July 23, 2015

Salvation—How Much More Profound Can It Get?

God - who, not having seen, you love

Got salvation? (cue the photo of young adult, smiling from ear to ear)

Salvation—don’t leave home without it.

God’s grace, God’s mercy, God’s love. All different aspects of God, and all incredibly powerful. But, salvation brings them all together, and ties it up with a big bow.

The book Praying the New Testament as Psalms has some moving, thought-provoking verses on its pages, under Salvation. However, I was so struck by the adaptation of this verse from 1 Peter 1: “I rejoice with a joy indescribable and glorious/at the outcome of my faith/—the salvation of my soul.” [1]

Peter’s words are “joy indescribable.” Unspeakable. You can’t even express it in words. This joy is so deep, it has to be experienced. Such joy goes beyond anything that humans in this world can describe. I suspect we would need to be in heaven to be able to sufficiently describe the joy we feel.

Thank You, God, for this poor and limited word-picture of salvation. Peter’s striving attempt to describe the joy that only heaven can properly name makes me bow down in worship and praise. Thank You. Praise You. Your grace and mercy are indescribable, too. Thank You. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er .

[1] Praying the New Testament as Psalms, Desmond O’Donnell, OMI, and Maureen Mohen, RSM, (United States of America: ACTA Publications, 2002.), 173.