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Joy Despite Economic Turmoil

The Lord actually wants us to have a better quality of life. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” This abundant life, this joyful life, only comes when our soul is brought to Life with Christ’s life—that Christ Himself abides in us. It is a profound truth that until a person’s dead heart and soul are brought to life by Christ, they will not truly know what true, lasting and enduring joy and peace can be. That certainly was the case for me. Perhaps the breaking of people’s hearts in these harsh economic times demonstrates that for some, their spirituality was not truly a work of Christ, but of their own mind/childhood/upbringing/culture.

Paul talks about this growing abundant life in Philippians 1:9-10 where he says, “And it is my prayer that your love may about more and more with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” We see from these verses that 1) Our love must grow 2) Our love will grow in knowledge 3) Our love will also grow in discernment 4) Application of that growing knowledge and discernment leads to a growing recognition of that which is morally right (and by extension also that which is morally wrong) 5) Recognition of that which is right leads to purity and blamelessness as God’s Spirit directs our way. This purity and blamelessness here is not the groaning of a killjoy, but rather, as Hebrews 12:11 says, it is the peaceful fruit of righteousness. The fruit of blamelessness is an increasing sense of peace and joy, even if life’s trials come our way.

Some folks might find these concepts elusive, and at many times they have been out of my own grasp. But I have learned, in my own walk with Christ, that diligence and faithfulness in these fields does in fact yield the harvest of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. When there has been a famine of these in my life, it has always been because I have stopped breaking up the hard ground of my own soul and have stopped planting the seeds of the Word of God and stopped growing in knowledge/discernment and stopped applying that knowledge and discernment to life, that my life might turn and align with the ways of God, the ways of His purity and His blamelessness. Psalm 16:11 says of God, “In your presence is fullness of joy.” Life can be joyful and abundant, but that joy and abundance is not found along the paths of the world, but rather in the sphere of God and His holiness.

Have I arrived in all of this? Not at all, I write as a learner, not a master. These are just some reflections from my time with the Lord this morning. And I’m trying out this “facebook note” thing.

Grace and peace,

Russ Brewer

Russ Brewer

Rescued from the domain of darkness, transferred to the kingdom of the Son. Undershepherd of Grace. Husband of Corinne. Father of three. Chew-toy to Zeke...


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