The Surprising Joy of Obedience




I come back from a long, tiring day at work, and lie down to rest. I can tell I’m starting to get sick, so I plan to go to bed early. After a little while, I hear voices outside the door in the living room. I open up the blinds, and several little faces smile back at me. I go and find some games, and they start to play, and later we throw some balls back and forth. I smile at the delight of the two year old as she throws the ball to me, which is about half the size of her. There’s a candy jar in my apartment, and a little boy asks for one. Soon there’s a mob of children crowding around me, all asking for candy. I laugh and go back and get the jar. It’s funny how I’m no longer thinking about my tiredness or sickness.

I had no idea what to expect when I moved to an apartment with mostly immigrant families. I didn’t know how safe the area would be, or if I would be able to adjust well. I’ve been here for a week today, and it’s amazing just how smooth the transition has been. I have met several of the neighbours, my roommate and I get along great, and it already feels like home. Last night I was reflecting on how God works, and just overwhelmed at His goodness. He has answered so many of my prayers. He knew exactly what I needed, and where He wanted me, and He has worked those two things together for my good, and His glory.

It can be easy to believe the lie that when we obey God, our lives will be miserable. But I have realized, especially this week, that following His leading, even if we don’t understand, always leads to joy. Every time. There may be suffering, and inconvenience, but joy is always there. So trust Him, friends, and submit to His ways. He knows what He is doing. He is One who keeps His promises (Joshua 21:45). Your life is safe with Him.

I would sooner be holy than happy if the two things could be divorced. Were it possible for a man always to sorrow and yet to be pure, I would choose the sorrow if I might win the purity, for to be free from the power of sin, to be made to love holiness, is true happiness.

Charles Spurgeon

But we never can prove
  The delights of His love,
Until all on the altar we lay;
  For the favor He shows,
  And the joy He bestows,
Are for them who will trust and obey.

John Henry Sammis






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