Friday, February 16, 2007

Causes of No Joy

Hebrews 12:5-11 (KJV) “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But is ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.”

Chastening is not joyous. Chastening is the only known cause for a short cessation of joy. There are, for Christians, two kinds of trouble. The first is persecution. These persecutions come from the enemy (the accuser) because we are living righteously. They are a cause for blessing and rejoicing. The second is chastening (discipline). This chastening comes from God because we are His children and we are disobedient. This chastening is a cause of no joy. I realize that your response may be that you can think of all kinds of reasons why you are not rejoicing. They will be experiential reasons, justifying reasons. They will not be biblical. As long as you are successful in convincing yourself that your lack of joy is a normal, O.K. position for a Christian, you will not come back into the joyful life.

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