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January 2018
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An Independent Joy

Line up 100 Christians and ask each one of them the following question: when do you feel closest to Jesus? 95, 97, maybe even all 100 of them will describe their situations the same way; those full of great sorrow, tragedy and difficulty.  This makes perfectly good sense; a Christian ought be acutely aware of the sorrow and depravity in the world and his soul.  And because we are so deeply wired to abhor pain, it is natural that we worship Christ most deeply when our rescue from this trauma is most evident.
Lately though, I have come to believe this is not entirely correct.  Well, perhaps it is correct, but rather insufficient in scope.  This all came about after considering the question, How will I rejoice in heaven? Will thousands of years later I continue to worship God for rescuing me from my sin? Though I have no theological basis for this assumption, I imagine God would tire of such singular thankfulness.  Wouldn’t, at least after a while, God desire praise for something else; perhaps His glorious creation, His infinite love, etc?  Wouldn’t He long for an occasional comment on the delicate swirls of color on the orchid in His garden?
All of this is nothing but to surface a very basic question.  Do you hate sin more than you love Jesus?  It is quite possible, and if you attend a Reformed church as I do, it is even quite likely.  We are so accustomed to railing against sin, (which is absolutely biblical) that we forget the whole purpose of removing the sin in the first place.  We’ve all heard sin described as a great chasm between us and God, a void we are powerless to cross.  Yet many Christians, especially those of us in the Reformed heritage, have so permanently affixed our gaze at this void, we’ve entirely forgotten what glory lies on the other side.  Even worse, some will finally cross that great gulf only to meet a God they have never known.  A few, I imagine, will even be disappointed.
We must push back against this dark obsession.  We must learn to look at sin as an opacity, that once shattered, will yield an unobstructed communion with our Father.  And until that wall shatters, diligently search and revel in the glimpses of heaven He graciously provides.

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