“Are you consistently keeping your soul happy in God?” It was an unexpected question. If Mark, our pastor and small group leader had asked, “Are you consistently practicing the spiritual disciplines?” I would have given a simple “yes.” But this question required a more thoughtful response. Do I emerge from my quiet time happy?
Now I come out of my quiet time happier than when I went in! I’m still the greatest sinner I know, but I am a sinner clothed in the righteousness of Christ. And that truth, as it sinks in, permeates my soul with joy.
So how about you, is your soul happy? Is it spin around, laugh out loud, grin ‘till it hurts, happy in God? If not, then come with me to the cross. And gaze awhile.
I recently read Psalm 32, and upon seeing the above post I was reminded of it, so I thought I'd share that as well.
1Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
3When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long.
4For day and night thy hand was heavy upon me: my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
5I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
6For this shall every one that is godly pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found: surely in the floods of great waters they shall not come nigh unto him.
7Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
8I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
9Be ye not as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they come near unto thee.
10Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the LORD, mercy shall compass him about.
11Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.
With promises like that I find it truly difficult to stay gloomy. The cross is the source of my joy, and when I go to it, when I remember the sacrifice Christ paid for me (to pay for my sins) I find it difficult to not "shout for joy." If I'm truly looking to the cross that is. Sometimes I have my little pity parties, and then my heart is weighed down in sadness, anger, and sin - but if I'm truly going to the cross? Well, then it's time to dance! If I'm truly seeking Him and abiding in Him?
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm 16:11, emphasis mine)