Saving Joy: Better Than a Reality Show

You will say in that day:

“I will give thanks to you, O Lord,

for though you were angry with me,

your anger turned away,

that you might comfort me.  (Isaiah 12:1, ESV)

Some people reject the notion that God becomes angry with us.  Many flee from the idea that we are “sinners in the hands of an angry God” (as one Puritan pastor put it).

But there is no good news to be found in the concept of God as a stoic, cosmic force unaffected by our behavior.  God is deeply concerned about us – grieving our losses, celebrating our joys, and – yes, becoming angry with us when we sin.

The good news is not that God couldn’t care less how we behave, but that God doesn’t hold grudges.  As Isaiah writes – “your anger turned away, that you might comfort me.”  Though God becomes angry with us, God is also the One who best comforts us when we recognize our sin and turn away from it.

There is no comfort to be found in sin, though it seems to satisfy our senses for a short season – to scratch an itch.  Yet, it only causes more craving and produces a wound that only the Spirit of God can heal.

For some such words seem shallow… disingenuous… hokey… unreal.

For many “reality” is the sort of stuff you see on TV – seduction, obsession, steamy sex.

But this is not reality.  What is most real can’t be seen or tasted or touched.  What is most real is the joy we experience in a saving relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

This is the Good News, as Isaiah expresses so beautifully –

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.    (Isaiah 12:3, ESV)

Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitants of Zion,

for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.    (Isaiah 12:6, ESV)

joy by susanne anette

joy from susanne anette

2 thoughts on “Saving Joy: Better Than a Reality Show

  1. Great post, Tony. That’s the problem with a lot of sermons these days…no mention of God’s anger at sin or His righteousness. People want a weak, namby-pamby, grandpa type of God who winks at all our wrongdoings and is there just to hand out lollipops and make us feel good.

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