Let It Out
Do you ever shout for joy! I’ve been on some amazing summits when the light of the moment moved me in a way that demanded to be vocalized. Usually I can’t just let out a whoop of excitement unless there’s nobody else around. When surrounded by friends, I’m prone to a slightly more subdued, “This is AMAZING!” When my mind is in the space I wish it were in more often, I’ll yell, “Praise God!” and care not whether it rings as foolishness in anyone else’s ears.
I learned a new term today that labels a concept I’ve grown fond of through many different circumstances. The idea is that you and I can simultaneously seek the greatest glorification of God and the greatest satisfaction in our lives, and the term is Christian Hedonism. The phrase sounds both oxymoronic and volatile, but after watching a full sermon by John Piper on the subject, I’ve come to the conclusion that it is actually profoundly biblical. The apostle Paul is a great defender of the idea that exalting Jesus Christ is the ultimate joy that makes all other perceived joys fade away. One of the first things that comes to my mind is the famous saying of Eric Liddell: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run, I feel his pleasure.”
Sticking with the running theme, here are some of the lyrics of the song “Run”, by Josh Garrels:
I feel the pleasure of my Lord when I’m in stride
For the glory of the Lord is man who is completely alive
While it’s right to recognize God as the source of a beautiful sunrise and the provider of our physical bodies, that’s not entirely the point. Even though we should encourage each other to complete our satisfaction in wonderful circumstances by actively praising God, the Good News goes even deeper. We are able to rejoice in all things because of what Jesus did on the cross. As Paul points out in the book of Philippians, not even death can slow us down. He says in chapter one verse twenty-one, “For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
I’m praying tonight that God will continue to develop my longing for Him. Ahead of time, I’m thanking Him for the grace He will have to cover me with when I fail to put Him at the very forefront of my life. There’s no doubt that I will fail, but I am convinced of the truth that I will never have more peace or happiness than when I’m lifting Jesus up as high as I can. I want to shout for joy through the way I live my life, to the glory of God the Father!