A Colloquy on Rejoicing

Remember, O My Soul,

It is thy duty and privilege to rejoice in God:

He requires it of thee for all his favours of grace.

Rejoice then in the giver and his goodness,

Be happy in him, O my heart, and in nothing but God,

for whatever a man trusts in,

from that he expects happiness.

He who is the ground of thy faith

should be the substance of thy joy.

Whence then come heaviness and dejection,

when joy is sown in thee,

promised by the Father,

bestowed by the Son,

inwrought by the Holy Spirit,

thine by grace,

thy birthright in believing?

Art thou seeking to rejoice in thyself

from an evil motive of pride and self-reputation?

Thou hast nothing of thine own but sin,

nothing to move God to be gracious,

or to continue his grace towards thee.

If thou forget this thou wilt lose thy joy.

Art thou grieving under a sense of indwelling sin?

Let godly sorrow work repentance,

as the true spirit which the Lord blesses,

and which creates fullest joy;

Sorrow for self opens rejoicing in God,

Self-loathing draws down divine delights.

Hast thou sought joys in some creature comfort?

Look not below God for happiness;

fall not asleep in Delilah’s lap.

Let God be all in all to thee,

and joy in the fountain that is always full.

From The Valley of Vision – a collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions by Arthur Bennett

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6 thoughts on “A Colloquy on Rejoicing

  1. Thou hast nothing of thine own but sin,
    nothing to move God to be gracious,
    or to continue his grace towards thee.

    Oh my, the implications of that statement are so often not even considered by God’s children. And yes, Mike, there are legions of true Arminians who are moved to tears by the truth of that observation, regardles of what Finney said.

    Have we ever even considered what sin really is, and its appearance when placed before God’s abject holiness? And do we put up with the “little foxes” because we have grown not only used to them, but even fond of them. And yet it wasn’t murder, or adultery, or homosexuality that caused all of mankind to fall in the garden, no, it was one small act of “harmless” disobedience.

    Again, we fail to embrace the seriousness of even one small sin before the pristine holiness of God’s Son. But the essence of the writer’s point is not to immobilize us in remorse, but to free us to continue to repent and receive forgiveness and in that – put on the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness!!

    Halleluiah to the grace of my Sin Bearer!!

  2. Rick,

    As you well know, I believe that Arminians are my brothers and sisters in Christ, despite our differences, as long as they know the Saviour, believed on Him and repented of their sins. We are all Children of God who have been drawn to do that and in obedience done so.

    Yes, our hearts are desperatly wicked. If I let off of my devotion to my Lord’s glory even for short periods of time then I fall or stumble. It is all disobedience. For no matter how small or insignificant my diversion may seem to me, any seeking of fulfillment other than in seeking my Lord’s Glory is a sin.

    On the other hand, if I remain in obedience fully loving my God with my entire being then I am fulfilled beyond anything I could ever describe in these mere words.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

  3. Hi Mike,

    I agree that Arminians are saved also. I have seen with growth a lot coming to the knowledge of the TULIP and some just don’t but they have trusted Christ for their salvation, they are His. I use to think myself a Calvinist but I do not now. I am a believer of Grace. I do not agree with Calvin totally and I think labeling ourselves after a man is not right, just my thoughts. I have no problem if others call themselves Calvinist or Arminians, this is just my conviction.

    I have a question for you though, what do you think about those who think they can loose their salvation, do you think they are saved? I really struggle with this one. I would appreciate your thoughts on that Mike. If they believe this they think they can loose their salvation and then gain it back, it just does not make sense to me.

    Cristina

  4. “Art thou seeking to rejoice in thyself
    from an evil motive of pride and self-reputation?
    Thou hast nothing of thine own but sin,
    nothing to move God to be gracious,
    or to continue his grace towards thee.

    Oh, I did so blaspheme our Lord’s name on Slice when I commented on the “Christians and the Culture Wars: An Alternate View”. I have asked God to forgive me and His grace is infinate that He has…glory be to His name. I have also asked Ingrid to remove it and pray that she is moved by the Holy Spirit to remove such a comment that blasphemes our Lord. I pray that God would stomp on my pride, bridle my tongue, that forgiveness would saturate my heart and that all I say and do would glorify His name.

  5. Christina, yes people like Wesley are saved. It is not people who believe they can lose it that are in peril, it’s people who believe they gain it by works on their way in, those are in dangerous waters.

    Those who believe they can open the back door are just wrong, those who believe they can open the front door, they are not saved.

  6. Cristina and Rick,

    If we believe salvation is our own work no mattter what those works are then we are in peril because salvation is of God. He saves us. We are held by Him and no one can take us out of His hands. Belief is not our work, it is a gift from God.

    Sarah,

    My dear sister in Christ, the fact that this conviction has touched your heart and driven you to repentance is a clear indication that God is holding you to a high standard. Rejoice my sister that God loves you and wants only for you to mature unto Christ-likeness. If we are honest we could all confess to having our pride rule and reign in our lives like this. Praise be to God that He will not allow His children to do this for very long.

    In Christ

    Mike Ratliff

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