What Brings Ultimate Joy?

My former high school teacher and dear friend, Maurine, has been editing my next book for me.  It’s a book that deals with building our faith and keeping it strong.  As always, my prayer is that it will indeed be a blessing of encouragement and help to all who read it.  I’ve been working this week with doing some correction and rewrite, getting it all ready for release.  I would like to share an excerpt from the book with you.  I hope it will bless you.  It is as follows:

 

The way of obedience follows salvation. When we become a Christian, we want to learn about Him and obey His ways. I Samuel 15:22 informs us that “to obey is better than sacrifice.” Jesus said in John 14:15, “If you love me, obey my commandments.” He also said in Luke 6:46, “So why do you call me ‘Lord’ when you won’t obey me?”

Sometimes we forget that God’s ways are designed to give us ultimate joy. They are designed for our protection and for our well-being.  Subconsciously we begin to think that God is a control freak; He’s just telling us what to do because He can. He gives us commands He knows we can’t keep just to watch us fail; then He delights in punishments. What a totally warped view of our Heavenly Father.

I had that view early on in my walk with God. I share that in my book,  Back On The Potter’s Wheel.  I thought God the Father was all thunder bolts and lightening strikes, taking delight in my failures. I’m forever thankful that the folly of that thinking got straightened out in my mind. God the Father is total love. I am warmed to the core when I read in I John 4:9-10, “God showed how much He loved us by sending His only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” Isn’t that beautiful?

God the Father understands perfectly the difficulties and hardships that we face on earth. He knows what sin has done to us. He knows we are like lost sheep, wandering without hope of ever being found by our own devices. That’s why He sent Jesus — to save us, to give us hope and purpose, to give us joy overflowing. That’s why He gives us instructions to follow. He has designed a path for us that will always bring peace to our troubled hearts, courage to rising fear, and strength to weakened faith.

His ways are not our ways but they are by far the best ways. Isaiah 55:8-9 reads, “My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

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