Saturday, November 03, 2012
The Source of our Joy!
by Rick Blumenberg /
My friend Andy Lindgren put a good quote from John Piper on Facebook recently. It read "God does not forbid sexual sin because he's a killjoy, but because he opposes what kills joy."
I thought that was an excellent quote and it got me to thinking of how I believe God feels about sin in general. He hates it. The reason God hates sin is because of the pain it brings into people's lives. A good definition for sin could be "that which destroys those whom God loves".
I find it surprising and perplexing when people seem to think (as John Piper’s quote clearly implies) that God calls anything sin that would bring us joy. This makes God out to be just that—a killjoy. And nothing could be farther from the truth. As Piper’s full quote makes clear, God merely “opposes what kills joy.”
God created us so that laughter is some of the world’s best medicine. That’s an old saying, but it is also a clear teaching of scripture as we can see from Proverbs (17:22) where we read “A merry heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.”
“The joy of the Lord is my strength.” we are told in the book of Nehemiah (8:10). When Nehemiah the governor asked Ezra the priest to read the book of the law the people were so deeply moved that they wept as they worshiped the Lord. But Nehemiah said to them “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
Why would God create us to respond so naturally to joy that laughter becomes our best heart medicine and his joy is the source of superhuman strength if he is not the God of good times, laughter and joy? He doesn’t want to ruin our days by calling fun things sin, he wants to extend our joy by protecting us from those behaviors, attitudes and outlooks that destroy our lives and cause us so much pain. God’s hatred of sin comes out of his love for mankind. He created us to be the recipients of his unconditional love and he wants us to experience the good things of life, rather than those things that will at best brings us pain and at its worst, totally destroy us.
As John Piper said, “God does not forbid sexual [or any] sin because he's a killjoy, but because he opposes what kills joy."
God finds joy when he sees his human creation experience his joy in every area of our lives and he is the source of our joy. When we find him, we find the joy of the Lord!
Thanks for the reminder Andy!
I’m Rick Blumenberg and that’s My View from Tanner Creek.