For Now We Rejoice in Part

Sharing today from Desiring God.

For Now We Rejoice in Part

By Scott Swain

God has promised his people supreme, unending, unshakeable happiness. Contrary to the claims of popular prosperity preachers, however, the supreme happiness God promises his people will not be realized in this life. Ours is a life characterized by sorrow in many ways. For now, we rejoice only in part.

There are two reasons for this. First, though the Father’s will to make us happy does not change, and though the Son’s work of securing our happiness is complete, the Spirit’s work of showing and bestowing happiness to us and upon us has only begun. By God’s triune mercy, we have been reconciled to the order of beatitude, what Augustine calls “the perfectly ordered and harmonious enjoyment of God, and of one another in God.”1 However, as Augustine goes on to tell us, ours is a happiness “we enjoy now with God by faith, and shall hereafter enjoy eternally with him by sight.”2

Second, having been reconciled to God’s order of beatitude, we have been brought into a state of conflict with the order of sin and misery, which wars against the happy God and the people who find their happiness in him. As William Perkins observes, “True happiness with God is ever joined, yea covered many times, with the cross in this world.”3 Our happiness has not yet fully arrived. Our happiness is not yet without opposition. For these two reasons, “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing” (2 Corinthians 6:10) characterizes the happiness of the people whose God is the Lord as they make their pilgrimage to the happy land of the Trinity.4

Happy Now and Not Yet

In his Sermon on the Mount, our Lord Jesus Christ instructs pilgrims on the path to God’s eternal kingdom regarding the way of happiness.5 In contrast to “the error of all philosophers,” who locate happiness in “pleasure,” “wealth,” and “civil virtue,” God’s Wisdom incarnate sets out the “the nature and estate of true felicity.”6

Read the rest here.

Experiencing Happiness in Christ, Even Through Depression and Sorrow

Experiencing Happiness in Christ,
Even Through Depression and Sorrow

By Randy Alcorn

The following is a recent interview I did on the topic of happiness. I appreciated being able to address how someone who is depressed can still move toward experiencing a deep happiness and joy in Christ, which is a question I’ve been asked about frequently since my book was released.

Question:  When you look at happiness, is there a distinction between joy and happiness?

Randy: Interestingly, this has been taught as if it were fact for many years, and there have been many sermons that say joy and happiness are two different things. But we get them both wrong, because people end up saying things like “Joy is not an emotion” and “Joy is not really based on anything; it‘s some transcendental, vague sort of thing. But don‘t seek happiness, because that‘s from the world, and involves sin.”

Well, a lot of people do seek happiness in sin, just like they seek joy in sin. But God is the true source of happiness, delight, and joy. In my study for Happiness, I went back to the Hebrew and Greek words and saw how there are many of them that are translated in various versions as “joy,” “gladness,” “merriment,” “happiness,” “delight,” “pleasure.” These words all have overlapping meanings. Ninety percent of a Hebrew word that‘s translated “joy” overlaps with one that‘s translated “gladness” or “happiness.” (I’m including here a diagram from Happiness, illustrating this.)

There’s been a false and negative distinction that‘s been made between joy and happiness. Unfortunately, the message we send to those both inside and outside the church is, “Seeking happiness is superficial and shallow. Go out and get it in the world, but you won’t find happiness in God.” But all people seek happiness, and because they do, we’re basically telling them, “Stop seeking what God Himself wired you to seek.” What we should be saying is, “Seek your happiness in the right place—in God Himself.”

Read the rest here.


Shared by permission of Randy Alcorn, Eternal Perspective Ministries, 39085 Pioneer Blvd., Suite 206, Sandy, OR 97055, 503-668-5200, www.epm.org

Crochet Tidbits

tidbit tuesdayToday I want to share some photos of some recent crochet projects.

Crock Pot Carrier

Isn’t this an odd-looking thing? The inspiration came from a pattern to make a carrier for a covered casserole. I tweaked it a bit so that it would fit my little crock pot. My Rick came up with the idea to include an extra set of handles to keep the lid in place. Isn’t he clever?

I tried it out recently and am very happy to say that it worked out just the way I planned. These small crock pots are different from the large ones because the outer shell does not have the carrying handles; the crock itself does. And boy howdy do those handles get hot! It is very difficult to carry the thing when it is hot, which is why I was going to look online for something to buy but not necessary because I really ♥ the way this turned out!

I used cotton yarn and made the bottom quadruple thick, meaning I made 2 circles for the bottom using 2 strands of the yarn for each circle. It is very thick and very sturdy.

Gift Bags

This is an ongoing project that I am absolutely crazy about! I take horrible pics, so please forgive the obvious amateur look of these. The ongoing part of it? I am going to keep on making these cute gift bags to use instead of paper whenever possible!

Tartan Plaid!

HolidayTartanAfghan-PatternPhoto

This last one is a pattern photo for an afghan I am making for myself. I HEART plaid, especially this particular tartan. It is called a Holiday Tartan Afghan, and as soon as I saw it, I knew I had to make it for me! And forget about displaying and using it only during the Christmas season, this gal is going to have it out and ready to use every day!

It will take me the better part of this year to make it, though, because I’m working on it in between other projects, including more wheelchair lapghans (some with matching bags to secure to one of the arms) and a couple of Christmas projects for some very special people for Christmas 2014.

AnnaSmile…..

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