July 30, 2013

Lines (9)

Continuing notes from "A Long Obedience in the Same Direction"

Chapter 10:  Happiness   Psalm 128
Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
    who walk in obedience to him.
You will eat the fruit of your labor;

    blessings and prosperity will be yours.
 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
    within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
    around your table.
 Yes, this will be the blessing
    for the man who fears the Lord.
 May the Lord bless you from Zion;
    may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
    all the days of your life.
 May you live to see your children’s children—
    peace be on Israel.

p. 112   Jesus makes clear that discipleship is not a reduction in what we already are (we are not talking - of course - about that whole sin thing *S*) - rather he will expand our capacities and fill us up with life so that we overflow with joy.

p. 114  "... blessing has inherent in it the power to increase.  It functions by the sharing and delight in life."

p. 115  "We are in a battle.  There is a fight of faith to be waged.  But the way of faith itself is in tune with what God has done and is doing.  The road we travel is the well-traveled road of discipleship.  It is not a way of boredom or despair or confusion.  It is not a miserable groping, but a way of blessing."

p. 117  "everyone wants to be happy, to be blessed.  Too many people are willfully refusing to pay attention to the One who will our happiness and ignorantly supposing that the Christian way is a harder way to get what they want than doing it on their own.  BUt they are wrong.  God's ways and God's presence are where we experience the happiness that lasts."

In re-reading these notes - I am noting the absence of a distinction between 'happiness' and 'joy'.  They are different and that is of vital importance to understand.  JOY is what we are promised in scripture, not happiness.  Though I think that happiness can be a by-product of joyfulness - the two are not always linked.  I can find great joy in doing things that bring me no happiness simply because of my Savior.  I serve a mighty God - I am HIS.  This leads me to joy in all things - regardless of the happiness involved or lack thereof.
There is little happiness in suffering or in doing yucky daily jobs like cleaning or dishes or diapers...but there is joy in these things if they are part of what God has gifted to us in this life for His glory.

Blessings on the journey~