Praise you, Lord, that with you, every day is filled with Sonshine, for your light of love and life shines continually on us and in us, giving encouragement, perspective, purpose, power and joy: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you,” said Jesus, and then “These thing I have spoken to you that my joy might remain in you and that your joy might be full” (John 15:9,11).
There is a condition to receiving this joy: trust. As it says in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you will all joy and peace AS YOU TRUST IN HIM, so that your lives may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Trusting God involves submitting to Him, to His description of reality, to His Word, to His leadership, to His purpose and meaning.
We can’t walk in the light while keeping our eyes closed, living just in the tiny world in our head. We have to open our eyes wide to the wonderful, awesome, expansive and beautiful reality of God’s Kingdom.
Here we own nothing, but are given everything we need to steward. We are called to hold all with an open hand, telling our gracious and kind, good and wise Heavenly Father, “Take what you want, leave what you want, give what you will. I trust you to do what is best.”
Holding all with an open hand is, on one side, scary at first, because there are plenty of things we don’t want to give up (health, relationships, income, security, savings, etc.).
But as we come to know more and more of God’s beautiful and wise character, our fear lessens (perfect love casts out fear), and is replaced by a sense of security (safety is not the absence of danger, but the presence of Jesus), and a sense of adventure (every day is a battle with spiritual enemies who use people against us; but as we keep on the armor and fight the right enemies, there is a continual string of victories). We begin to understand what it means to be more than conquerors in the midst of challenges (Romans 8:37) .
What a God we have, what a life He gives us, what a future He’s prepared! To live in the wonder of getting the opposite of what we deserve, to revel in His unconditional love, to bask in His unending goodness (instead of thinking all the natural negative thoughts the devil throws at us)–this is part of the joy He desires for us. Let us continually embrace these truths while rejecting the lies that contradict them, living instead in the Light of His Love.
Picture: Niagara Falls, a demonstration of God’s power and love of beauty He shares with us.