Faith and relevance in the 21st century

Category: Joy (Page 2 of 2)

Waiting on God is hard, and that’s ok

This is an excellent article. Some of the best pieces are:

  • “God’s plan is perfected in the wait, and we, His people are reminded throughout the course of redemptive history ?A professor once said, ‘The whole of Christian life is becoming what God has already declared you to be.’ The wait you and I experience is not abnormal to the Christian life, but is part of the very essence of the Christian experience.”
  • “To us, the best solution to a painful wait is to resolve it. Bring me my spouse. Give me children. Fix our family drama. Yet, God uses these periods in our life to break us. Like Moses in the desert, Paul with his thorn, Jacob as he wrestled with God.”
  • “He breaks us to bless us. He breaks us so we can see Him. Through times of suffering, God is crushing our self-dependence and awakening our soul to the persistent reality of our need and how only He has ability to give us true joy. Yes, children are good. Marriage is good. Sex is good. Promotions are good. Friendships are good. But God is better.”
  • “This question must be asked in the midst of suffering, not after the fact: Today, when you don’t have the very thing you’ve prayed, longed, yearned for, can you find joy in Christ? Is the Gospel sufficient? The answer to this question reveals the object of your worship.”

Challenging stuff. God give me the courage to believe that You are enough.

America the noisy

stress-CBT_1I am spending some time in the US this Australian summer. It’s my fourth time here. My first impressions this time are that, for most people, life is a daily battle to get everything done. It’s about making the bucks, working so hard that we no longer know what we’re working towards. No one seems to stop and smell the roses.

A culture that stops reflecting is a culture that doesn’t know where it’s going. This article is not a criticism of the US, because Australia, where I come from, is just the same. And even more so, I don’t spend enough time reflecting in my own life. But in this land where freedom and the individual pursuit of happiness is the guiding light that will lead us to the Promised Land, it seems to stand out more.

It has been said that we in the West have “noisy souls.” That is, we have so much going on in our brains that we are no longer able to take notice of the little things in life. We are so wired that we don’t know how to stop and notice the birds singing. Continue reading

Life won’t begin at your next milestone

Here’s a very wise article from Relevant magazine. I’ve been learning a lot in the last few months about living in the now. It’s about being mindful, being present. I have always struggled with what this article talks about. Real life is always in the future. If “_____” happens, all my problems will be sorted out. This has been my subtle belief about life. It reflects a restlessness, a dissatisfaction about the present. Richard Rohr talks a lot about this.

Someone said once that these are the good ol’ days. What he meant was that joy comes from living in the present, not in the past or future.

The wisdom of St Paul is pertinent here: “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11-13).

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