Friday, September 26, 2008

Why is life joyful?

Stephen Charnock, The Existence and Attributes of God, volume 2, pages 500ff., proposes a helpful line of thought:

If God is in fact our Enemy with only destructive intentions toward us, why do we experience any good at all? It isn't surprising that life is painful. What's surprising is that life is joyful. What do our simple, daily joys mean? Is God pretending to be our Friend, is he setting us up for the ultimate nasty surprise? Or is God sending us signals every day that his heart is loving and kind, so kind that we can go back to him in repentance and find his arms open to us?

Where does a warm cup of coffee come from? Where does meaningful and profitable work come from? Where does an interesting crossword puzzle come from? Where does a kiss from my wife come from? Where does a phone call from a friend come from? Where do happy memories of my children come from? Where do the uplifting challenges of tomorrow come from?

The gospel in Romans 2:4 alerts me to the message embedded in my daily joys: "Do you not know that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?"