Lately, I've found myself struggling to enter the week with a joyful heart. I sit somewhere in the middle between burdened by discouragement and genuine gladness of heart - essentially uninspired, lethargic and not particularly amazed at God's grace.
It's not a particularly good attitude to carry forward into the week. So by God's help, I'm hoping for change this week and taking a cue from how 19th century pastor, George Mueller prepared for Mondays (actually, it's how he prepared for every day) -
"According to my judgement the most important point to be attended to is this: above all things see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord. Other things may press upon you, the Lord's work may even have urgent claims upon your attention, but I deliberately repeat, it is of supreme and paramount importance that you should seek above all things to have your souls truly happy in God Himself! Day by day seek to make this the most important business of your life. "
Think you have responsibilities? George Mueller was a man of immense responsibility, overseeing care for more than 2000 orphans - all this accomplished without government assistance, personal wealth or corporate sponsorships. Despite his many noble responsibilities, he placed as his highest priority to have his heart happy in God, each and every day.
How did he go about pursuing and practicing this? He offers an important hint by the following quote:
"But in what way shall we attain to this settled happiness of soul? How shall we learn to enjoy God? How to obtain such an all-sufficient soul-satisfying portion in him as shall enable us to let go the things of this world as vain and worthless in comparison? I answer, This happiness is to be obtained through the study of the Holy Scriptures. God has therein revealed Himself unto us in the face of Jesus Christ."
I'm applying this by looking to God to reveal himself through his word. In particular, I'm looking for the portrait of Jesus Christ in the passages I read, reminding myself of his work of sacrifice on the cross, meditating on his love. I'm doing so with confidence that my lethargic heart is no match for God's inspired words to me. Here's what God graciously turned up for me in Psalms 130:3-4
If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared.
Buried in the Book of Psalms, is this wonderful gospel picture, speaking of God's holiness, our depravity and his provision of forgiveness. I'm meditating on those verses together with 2 Cor 5:21.
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Today, I'm focusing on that bit of good news till I get happy in God.