Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Beginnings

Well, happy 2009! Hard to believe that another year has flown by!

This morning I was going through Taste and See by John Piper, it's been my book of choice in my morning devotions.

Today's was very encouraging and very appropriate it was entitled "The Simultaneous Sound of Laughter and Weeping...Living in the real world of constant pain and pleasure (Somewhere)

Piper references Ezra 3:10-11 when the foundation of the temple of the Lord had been laid, It was a great day of gladness, A new beginning. It goes on to describe the sound of weeping interspersed with the shouts of gladness, the reason for the weeping was because the temple of the Lord was being rebuilt, not at all like the original but rebuilt nonetheless. However it would not be anything like the original , Haggai 2:3 references this. So the weeping was because there were comparisons being made to the old way of life, the old temple.

Piper goes on to give some other great examples such as, "Take health for example. You lose your health, perhaps your eyes or your 'Babylonian captivity.' But then, perhaps after years, there is an answer to prayer-a miracle or a God-sent treatment- and some of your former health is restored. Do you shout for joy, or do you weep? Probably you will do both. You will remember "the former glory" and the loss will hurt. But then you will see a respite is given. A new day, a new beginning. Not the same. But new and good and full of possibilities and hope. And you will rejoice."

It's really all about where we fix our minds, not dwelling on what might have been. If you've ever lost anyone or you have experienced a partial restoration of health or a relationship, we have to focus on the Lord and the things that He is doing and will be doing in our lives! His grace is totally sufficient for us, He provides for us by His grace and while things may never be the same as they were, God is so incredibly faithful.

As John Piper states it so rightly, " On this side of the resurrection of Jesus, and on this side of the final fulfillment of the promise to work it all for good. (Romans 8:28-32), there will still be grief, yes, but as Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:13, not as those who have no hope. Our weeping will be weeping on the rock of hope."

We will weep in this life, no doubt. Let it not be prolonged and without hope, for rejoicing comes in the morning and when it does let's truly rejoice Psalm 30:5

Happy New Year and in the midst of our weeping, let's look forward to times of great rejoicing!


Anonymous said...

Ron, thank you so much for sharing this. this season of my life has truly been a mix of weeping and joy. honestly, its been more of a season of weeping... but by God's grace He is beginning to change my perspective and show me joy... His joy... His hope... His unchanging faithfulness.

thanks for the reminder that both emotions are acceptable, but nonetheless, our hope must confidently remain in God, the One who is in control of every day.

praying for you.

Ron Reffett said...

Hey Emily,
No problem at all, this has been quite a season of weeping for me as well. I tend to sway to the negative side of things, I know that by the Lord's grace that is changing, the hope that we have far outweighs these temporary trials that we experience while we're still here. What an amazing thing that all of these things are temporary! Hope is indeed a great thing and we definitely need it! What great news, that we have a God that we can place our hope in and He never lets us down! He is our help and our God!
I appreciate your prayers, praying for you as well.