The Expository Files

 

Having A Tight Grip On Your Joy & Commitment


One measure of our spiritual maturity is, what it takes to rob us of our joy. Someone will be delighted to become a Christian, then involved with other Christians, devoted to Bible reading and Bible study; seemingly committed and active. Everything is great. Then, something happens and both their commitment and joy is gone.

It may not take much: a difference in opinion with someone; a misunderstanding; maybe some unfortunate reversal of finances; marriage trouble, injustice, conflict. Something happens, and in that difficulty, the joy of serving God is given up. One measure of our spiritual maturity is, what it takes to rob us of our joy.

Turn your attention to the life of the apostle Paul. His spiritual maturity is evident in that, when he suffered grief and disappointment, those circumstances did not rob him of his joy or his commitment to serve God. Read now, Phil. 1:15-30.

The character and maturity of the apostle Paul is dramatically evident. He was persecuted and then imprisoned. I believe he certainly experienced sorrow and shed tears. There is no doubt he was troubled by sinful, weak, and contentious men.

Yet, there never seems to have been a time in his life when his circumstances diminished his joy, or reduced his level of commitment to God. In fact it might be argued, it seems as if the worst affliction actually tightened his grip on the joy of being a Christian. It ought to be so with us. {This line of thought suggested to me as I read John MacArthur's lesson book on Philippians.}
 

By Warren E. Berkley
From Expository Files 15.1; January 2008

 

 

 

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