Dear Grace Baptist Church Family,
I hope you are having a good week. There are many considerations to what one might call a “good” week. The measure of a good week might range from notable success in some level on the job to the children learning obedience to lighter traffic than normal on the way to or from work. We define good by what we think is good for us.
Yet, not every day or week is good if we define it by our own terms. You might not succeed on the job. The children might disobey. And the traffic might be worse than ever. Was it a good week or not?
And when we are not having a good week, it often shows in our hearts and lives as a lack of joy. Christians should be known for their joy. It is in the category of “fruit of the Spirit” that Paul mentioned in Gal. 5:22. So does having a “good” week mean that we have joy and if we have a “bad” week, do we still have joy? Of course we should rejoice always (I Thess. 5:16). But do we?
There are many Biblical approaches to having and maintaining joy in our lives. But I will focus on one consideration.
This past Sunday, I briefly addressed the topic of pride in our lives. And it is no surprise that pride is the basis for lack of joy and even for not defining “good” properly. Someone has appropriately said that pride is anything that is in competition for the supremacy of Christ in and over our lives. When joy is lacking we have to ask if it is because we are allowing something to compete for the rule of Christ in our lives. We have to let God rule and that means that all these other things cannot contend for His place in our lives.
I was recently given the book, “Growing Up In Grace” by Murray G. Brett. And the author has an excellent perspective that I will share with you as he wrote, "Lifting up our hearts against God is our greatest struggle. Without exception, it’s at the heart of every sin we commit: selfishness, discontentment, covetousness, lust and envy. Why? Because we are dissatisfied with where God has us in life. Contending with God for supremacy is also at the heart of fear, worry, anxiety, doubt and manipulation. And when we commit these kinds of sins, it’s evident that we’re not confident that God is able or willing to work all things together for our greatest good. Therefore, we lift up our heart against God."
Perhaps you could re-read that paragraph a few times and let it soak in. It is very convicting to consider. And it does make us realize that pride is at the root of not having joy in our lives.
With this perspective, now we must acknowledge and confess pride in our lives. When you do, the joy will return!
In closing, I encourage you to pray for our services, for our church and for me as well. Would you take a few private moments between now and Sunday morning to pray?
I look forward to worshipping the Lord together with you.
Dr. Wynne Kimbrough is the editor of this resource.
Some of the articles are written by him while others are found and shared with permission from the original authors. Some of of these authors wish to remain anonymous.