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His Joy in Us

Recent days have revealed the worst in people on social media. My Facebook feed that was once filled with cute babies and fun vacations pictures has become a venue for crude debate and accusation. I have found myself amazed at the comments from people I admire and people I know in a different setting to be level-headed and kind as they share their views about the political changes in America. If an alien were reporting back to his planet about what how people with different opinions treated one another, he would have an unfavorable report to make for sure.

The culture of the United States has moved far away from the instructions God gives us in His word about how to live. Even our churches are yielding to the culture and slipping from the orthodox teaching of the Bible handed down to us from the Apostles. Rather than calling Christians out of a former way of life and live a life transformed by the Holy Spirit inside of you, the church is ignoring the reality of God’s call to total transformation, even here on earth. An alien could not report back to his planet that church is a place where people are united by a desire to follow God’s will.

It's hard not to feel ashamed of us, as a people, and how divided we are from each other though we are each created in the image of God.

Though I may feel I am living in a corrupt time, I know that there have been more corrupt seasons throughout the history of man. No one has seen what God saw on earth before the days of the flood. Our evilness has not reached that level of corruption again.

My own experience of being ashamed to be a human before a Holy God has moved me to be more in awe of Him. I cannot imagine how He tolerates our moral decay and continuously holds out hope to us. He serves us the truth that there is a better way to live. Rather than throw in the towel and leave us to our inclinations to evil all the time, He finds joy in us. This joy is expressed in John’s letter to the Christians living in an evil culture:

“ I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” (3 John 1:4).

His capacity for joy is dumbfounding, especially since He sees far more evil than I do. He even knows the evil that is covered. He knows the evil that is in our hearts. This reality of evil existing in human beings does not take away His joy in any one of His creatures who are standing strong in His truth and are living it out in a fallen world.

God’s joy in us gives me great hope. I want to be like Him. I want to stop mulling over the poor representations of human potential. I want to focus on the humans who are moving in the direction of truth even though their culture keeps distracting them from God.

When I consider the joy God has in us, I stop reading social media, or I read it in a different light. I stop watching the news, constantly looking for something to celebrate, and instead look to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who are bringing joy to God. It does indeed bring joy to me to see the good work that people are doing in God’s name to push back the results of the fall.

We are a fallen people. We have leaders who represent our fallenness. We have a God who takes great joy in us when we live up to the potential He gave to us through His Son, the Holy Spirit and His Word. Thank you God for showing me how to have joy in us too!

 

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