Joy or Heartache?

What does it take to turn the moment of joy and pleasure into heartache? Desire and wonder, lust and unfulfilled cravings come of the temptation found with each of us. Expecting to be entertained, titillated, stroked and scratched as we feel the need, allows us to identify the unmet and increasing elevate its importance. Often without any consideration for the possible consequences we lash out to achieve our perceived prize. Thereby taking the secure moment of placid existence down the dark road of “Oh, how I wish I hadn’t”. We are undone without cause and lost in the realms of the unconsidered. We have turned the moment of joy and pleasure into heartache.

Good advice is given by those who care for us by promoting their hindsight for our warnings. “Turn aside from the lust” they will demand, “For I went that way to my demise”. “Stand in the knowledge that it is forbidden and bid your body and mind to cease” say those who have fought and failed. “Rest in the comfort of grace and forgiveness” are the thoughts of weak and frail ones. Stay close by those of strength who will guide you right. Listen to the ones who would offer ways of escape. Beat unmercifully upon yourself to prevent sliding down the slope with despair. Above confess to none the sorrows of defeat, for those who matter already know and those who don’t might be given hope.

What is the design of our being? Are we to fall and flail is sin and poverty of soul or to rise above the circumstances of life in glorious victory? Designed to accomplish the latter and prepared to endure the former. By design we are the sons and daughters of an almighty Holy Creator God. By fallen nature we are as slaves subject to the masters of the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Driven by the misguided affection intended for holy consecration we plunge headlong into the morass of ill fit goals. The American dream is of beauty, bounty and boldness, even in the Church of the living God. Yet He Himself was base, bereaved and brazenly timid.

Our path is straight. Our way is narrow. And if we can ever get off this broad way flowing in another direction, we might draw near to it. Tempted and tried, often made to wander, why should it be this way all the day long? It is the giving in to the temptation, desiring the fools gold glittering before our eyes, seeking the self satisfying rather than the sacred. Without the single empowerment given to every humble hearted one, we have no power, no strength, nay not even any desire to do the right. We, as the Wizard of Oz declared, “Lack one thing”. We have a flesh which demands to be fed. We are driven by a spirit which is dead in trespasses and sin. Yet we lack a living breathing passionately Holy Spirit led Soul to walk in the ways of the Master.

And Jehovah God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. And he said “for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Then Adam did, and His soul died being separated from the breath of life. Until the day when He breathed on them, and said unto them, “Receive ye the Holy Spirit”. Life anew was restored and the only hope for restoration returned. Strength was given to choice and forgiveness to cover their lack. The indwelling Spirit of the Living God once again was at home in His most desired residence.

What do we then? What does it take to turn pain and heartache back to the moment of joy and pleasure? It is in that moment when we see Jesus for who He is as high and lifted up. And see Him lifted high of the cross for us. It is when the strength of surrender overcomes our desire and fulfills His. Weakness is where He is found strong. Power is not is sinew or muscle or a well exercised body. Control is not found in the decisions of our minds to reject what we have surmised as treasures for our consumption. It is to the companions who would judge us as failures that we most gladly report that we will fail their expectations, we are drowning in our inability to choose rightly, we cannot rejoice without Jesus.

What does it take to turn the moment of joy and pleasure into heartache? Failing to recognize that we need Him is all it takes. Because even knowing that we are helpless without Him we fail to choose right. We lie when truth would suit us better. We deny Him so others will think well of us. It is His heart which must ache for our obedience. It is His tears which were shed for a lost and rebellious people. It is His blood which was shed to provide remission of sin. Finally it is His love which is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. There is our only hope, our only strength, our only ability to turn from heartache to retain the joy and pleasure He has given for us to enjoy.

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