It is always refreshing to read the good thoughts of other writers.
It brings another ‘voice’ , and other insights that can be pondered.
Alan’s writing sparked off in me a line of thought that is interesting.
If I were to sum up the bookends of my life it would be difficult, and I would need to ask that of others who know me, and don’t judge me to harshly. One end could be contentment and the other, I hope, could be joy – well most days !
That is just a five-minute self-analysis, and I could be wrong – depends who you ask !
What are the bookends of your life – it’s a lovely line of thought and can be quite revealing.
But our lives are like books, and so could it be possible to sum up a book in two words ? Its fun to try.
The writing further goes on to advocate Joy, and skilfully undergirds the benefits of being a believer and a follower of Jesus Christ. These benefits, which are all in Christ are the bedrock of a beautiful book that can be invisibly read by those who would choose to ‘read’ a believers’ life. Jesus truly makes all the difference in our lives. By choosing Him as our God we have access to all these benefits and much, much more.
I hope that you too will be encouraged by Alan’s writing.
I have permission and am privileged to share with you the thoughts of Alan Webster’s Quiet Time 6-3-19 as he writes on :
Philippians 3:1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord.
Surrounded by Joy
If love is the message of the Gospel, then the bookends are joy.
Having joy is a strength that can keep someone going despite the adversity they face.
It might not exhibit as happiness, for that is a fleeting emotion, but joy undergirds a heart during the hardest trials. Joy in the midst of suffering exhibits as quiet peacefulness, a contentment of knowing that the present is not the end of the story. It is trusting through the suffering, hoping beyond the pain, claiming the future glory in the present darkness.
How is joy possible ? It is as Paul calls it – it is joy in the Lord. If our joy were in anything else, it would finally disappoint. But we have joy in a conquering Saviour, who even though He died, vanquished every foe and confounded every attempt to annihilate goodness. We have a caring Intercessor who constantly consoles our circumstances and prays for us. If nobody else knows, and nobody notices what we are enduring He has intimate knowledge and we are able to pour our emotions at His feet. It is there that He speaks to us and fills us up with hope. It is there that we are empowered to take another step, go another season.
We have a constant Companion who never leaves us. The Good Shepherd never abandons us even in our dreariest days. Even when we have failed miserably and everyone else departs, He continues to be faithful. We can lean on Him and He will hold us up. When we can’t He will carry us. We have a Covenant-keeping Messiah who holds Himself to the conditions of promise. He lavishes grace on us and ensure that we will make it to the end. He seeks out the lost sheep, rescues the wanderers and stands beside the oppressed.
We are never alone.
With all the benefits we have, even on our worst days, we are comforted. In the Lord, we can take hold of the rich promises which are all yes and amen in Him. He pours His life into us and swells the living water from deep within our souls. We can taste and see that the Lord is good.
If our walk as believers are to be marked in any way, let it be Joy.