Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing. I have to confess, I don’t like this series. Each week, I read for the next attribute of love and each week I’m confronted by my shortcomings. This week is no different, only my outlook. I would tell you about the countless times I’ve taken delight in things unfitting of a child of God, but it’s easier to let you think up your own stories and just insert my name into most of them. I think they’d be at least 80% true. Instead, I’ll take this brief moment to note that in confronting this darkness in our souls, there is discomfort and pain. I won’t sugarcoat this, not for an instant. I agree we are far more fallen than we’d like to believe and will continue to recognize that daily. However, the pain is fleeting and then we are left with the fruit of our diligence in following our gracious and merciful God. It is then that we remember just how greatly He loves us and forget whatever preluded that bliss. With that in mind, let us delve into our unrighteousness head on.
We delight in evil. There’s something so dark and sinister about those four letters as to make them wholly unpalatable to the lofty ideas I maintain of my faith. Yet, when we get down to it, all that falls short of God’s glory is just that, evil. You may be disagreeing with me right now, but take this moment to inventory the things you enjoy: the jokes, stories, movies, pastimes, etc. Now tell me, was it all wholesome? Yes, friend, that was a rhetorical question. I’m not here to tell you what to enjoy as I’m in no position to do so given each of the categories listed above. I’m just pointing out that we all have our habits.
I sense a reticence. At this point, knowing my own heart I know that some of you may have stopped reading at the last paragraph and others are about to stop reading right now, but hold on. This post is not meant for behavior adjustment. While that may happen as a result, this post is meant to reignite or fan the flame of a soul meant to burn uncontrollably for God. However, that can only happen when we remove the chaff from our hearts that serves only to suffocate and kill.
“After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, ‘Do you want to go away as well?’ Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.’” -John 6:66–69
Where do we turn? That’s the question we should be asking ourselves right now. I think we all know we’re supposed to turn away from evil yada yada. But what I feel is less obvious is the corollary to that. Obviously I struggle here too, but I will take a stab (no Easter pun intended) at it and see what you think. We turn to the Word. We turn to each other. Alone and together we pray. We pray like our hearts last hope is in our cries out to God, because believe it or not they are. Everyday, we run the risk of losing our heart to this cancer. Don’t forget this part: we rejoice. We rejoice in the victory already won. We rejoice in the salvation bought for our souls once for all at Calvary. We rejoice in a war won nearly two thousand years ago despite a sore loser. We rejoice in a God evermore greater than any snare. We rejoice because we have nowhere else to go.
Pray fervently. Rejoice like it’s your job.