Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Getting What I Don't Deserve

Galatians 5:22-23
English Standard Version (ESV)
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13
English Standard Version (ESV)
12 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; 13 also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God's gift to man.
2 Corinthians 1:5
New International Version (NIV)
5 For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
James 1:2-4
New International Version (NIV)
Trials and Temptations
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
I've been trying without success to find a Bible verse that assures me that I have a right to happiness.  What? No verse?  The Bible sounds almost un-American!  What about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as well as truth, justice, and the American Way?   Okay, so I'm mixing the Declaration of Independence with the Superman comics, but they both sound so good.  Man's laws are not God's promises.  I have no right to happiness or justice.  I do have the joy of sharing in the sufferings of Christ, the testing of my faith through trials, the pleasure of toil, and the fruits of pouring myself out in practicing the fruits of the Spirit.  Where's the fun?  Where's the fairness?  Oh, child of God, it is ever so much better to have the love, grace, mercy and peace that only Jesus can give than anything this world has to offer.  Our supposed rights will never override God's laws and that's good.  For He is God and I am not, and my time on earth is ever so brief in light of my eternity.   I write this because today I was given another opportunity as C.S. Lewis described to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in me.  For such a Savior I will gladly surrender my rights.  He doesn't give me what I deserve but does give me what I don't deserve, forgiveness.
Matthew West - "Forgiveness"

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