That pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling lately. Well I’m pretty sure I got the word right – as in nothing fascinates you any more.
And it’s a horrible feeling.
What are the things I’m disenchanted with?
2) Hours after school
Haha. Yeah…things are boring me out. I mean there’s quite a bit of work to be getting on with but I just find no gain in the things I do. There’s no excitement and every day is lived in so much routine.
The human soul was created to be fascinated. And I think as bleak as this period of my life is, it has taught me at least one thing – this life can only satisfy so much, then it gets boring.
Of course the problem comes when you try to go to God to get satisfied, and you don’t seem to get anything out of it. If the first thing was horrible, I think this borders on suicidal.
Lol. Umm. I am not suicidal btw. Just a choice of words – quite apt in a certain sense, for those who know what I mean.
But yeah, I think everyone has dark periods in their life like these. My last one was quite a long time back, about two years back, when my life felt quite aimless.
This time round though, I’ve learnt one thing. Its moments like these, when the darkness seems oppressive, stifling, suffocating the joy out of life, its moments like these when God’s light shines brightest. It’s just a matter of waiting for the light to come – because it will. God is the everlasting God. Even in the darkness He reigns. And He will place a limit on what we have to endure and lift us up when our time of testing is finished.
For those who have believed, John Piper calls us to fight for joy like a justified sinner. We often take for granted the power of the cross of Christ. I’m doing injustice to a great book (When I Don’t Desire God: How to Fight for Joy by John Piper) which I think is a great book for those who just feel stuck and stagnant in their relationship with God, but to summarise the key bit to this concept, the idea is that the fight for joy is a fight to see the glory of God – because Piper argues that the Bible preaches the idea that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him” and our satisfaction only comes when we see God for who He really is, i.e. glorious. And the glory of God is most tangible in the cross of Christ.
Paul says it himself when he says “Far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Gal 6:14)”. Our primary source of power is found there. Because there we see God in His full glory – the merciful and compassionate God who loved us so much that He died to take away our sins, something we could not do ourselves. The story of the cross, the story of redemption is the full display of the glory of God. And thus it is there that we are most satisfied. God gives us little glimpses of His glory in our daily lives, but none compares to the fact of Christ crucified and risen.
It’s like this David Crowder song, Heaven Came Down:
Heaven came down and glory filled my soul/When at the cross my Savior made me whole/My sins were washed away/And my night was turned to day/When heaven came down and glory filled my soul/O what a wonderful wonderful day/Day I will never forget/When I was wandering in darkness away/Jesus my Savior I met/O what a tender compassionate Friend/He met the need of my heart/Shadows dispelling with joy I am telling/He made all the darkness depart/O what a wonderful wonderful day/And O what a glorious glorious day/The day you came, came to save me/O what a wonderful wonderful day/The day you came and you saved me
And Piper acknowledges that the fight for joy exists. Christianity doesn’t promise instant gratification. There are moments of darkness. And the biblical writers had their moments. But Piper encourages us to fight with what he calls ‘ gutsy guilt’. In Micah 7 : 8-9, (Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me. I will bear the indignation of the LORD because I have sinned against him, until he pleads my cause and executes judgment for me. He will bring me out to the light; I shall look upon his vindication.), Micah acknowledges that moments of darkness exist. Because we are truly sinners and we deserve to bear the indignation/anger of God.
But here’s the amazing truth here. For those of us who have believed and have been justified by faith in Jesus Christ, we do not face the wrath of an angry judge but the discipline of a loving father. And so while we bear the indignation of God, we have to but wait a little longer, when God will lift His darkness and restore our joy. And this joy is all the more sweeter. It’s like how an ice-cream tastes much better after baking in the sun all day rather than having spent the day in a freezing room. The contrast emphasises it.
And Piper calls this manner of fight for joy the way of gutsy guilt. Because while we acknowledge that we’re guilty, when the enemy (for most of us this would be the devil) rubs it in our faces, we can stand up and say that God will be my light. He is for me. He will not forsake me. Because of what He had first done for us at the cross. Moreover, God will execute judgment for us – now the tables are turned on our enemy.
Piper contrasts this with ‘cheap grace’, which I would succinctly described as a “all will be good and happy. If things are going bad, then you do not have faith” sort of doctrine. The fact is that we have really fallen short of God’s standards. There is real judgment for what we have done. There is a darkness we have to face. But because of the cross, in what was once a dark world, we have a hope – the promise of the light of God. This light may sometimes seem dim, but it’s always there and in our greatest moment of darkness, if we can seize hold of the power of the cross and the fact that we have already been made righteous, we can endure until God chooses to lift the oppressiveness of the darkness.
Haha. I have to say that was pretty heavy doctrine there. But the darkness is real. It suffocates and stifles our joy. The fact is the Christian life is not all prosperous and comfortable. But there is joy. An eternal joy. Because in the darkness, when life seems to go nowhere, we can lay hold to the power of the cross – that Jesus has redeemed us – and that will be enough for us, until God lifts the darkness and a greater joy descends upon us.
And for those who don’t believe, the offer of joy is still free and available for all those who choose to believe. Because I can tell you that night is here, but morning will come for those who hold fast to the joy that is found in the power of the cross. And then this life wont seem so bad, because we have a light to lead us through the darkness, to heaven where we will be forever satisfied in the presence of our great and glorious God.
Lol. In fact I’m feeling a little bit happier now. Haha. I think it helped to get this off my chest into the open.