"He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose." ~Jim Elliot

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I'm Buying Stock (And I'll Get a Huge Return)

This month I have had more time to read. The feeling I had was, at times, heartbreaking: because of an incident which happened some time ago and because of my busy work schedule, my habit of reading was crippled for a season. Picking up Mere Christianity and working through it has been like learning how to walk again. My world was shaken for a time. However, at long last, I think it is safe to say that the dark valley (which actually began in 2011 and was only continued by more recent incidents) has finally come to an end.

So I read again. And when I read, I write.¹ And when I write I blog. And sometimes I blog what I write outside the blog.

So tonight perhaps it will be beneficial to share what I learned today from expecting something and getting less. Having gone through the most successful job interview I have ever been through and yet receiving a job with ramifications I had expected would be different, God revealed to me the pride in possessions I was clinging to. So here is a lesson from the much blessed and not-quite-as-much thankful average Joe:

Placement of Happiness
We Receive What We Give Away

It is our highest and most noble call to seek happiness in God, for what we put our happiness into we put our lives into. If I am to put my happiness into work, I will have failed because my job one day will cease. If I am to put my happiness into my family, I will have failed because one day my family will cease. If I am to put my happiness into my faith or hope² - again, I will have failed because one day faith and hope will cease. But if I instead put my happiness into God, it will not be in vain.

The logic follows: that means that if God were to ever end, putting any joy in Him would be a waste of time as well. If anything, for that matter, has an end, it is not worth our happiness. This is precisely the heart of the matter. If one day God will die, He is not worth our happiness. But if He is who He says He is - and He is - then I can put my happiness into Him. He does not end. If I put my happiness into God, it will be eternal happiness.

And, therefore, if I put my treasure into God, it will be eternal treasure. If I give my praise unto God, it will be eternal praise. If I sing a song to God, it will be an eternal song. If I give a script to God, the words will never cease to be. For although all these things end by themselves, God does not end at all. All we give to Him will live on in His mind. And all we place into Him we will receive back, and all give to Him will be given back a hundredfold.³

1. This has led me to compile a collection I am calling 2013: The Summer Papers. This blog may contain some of those writings in the near future.
2. This, of course, is a deeper issue than how I worded it. For clarity's sake, it is not our own faith we trust in - Christians do not put faith in their faith. They put faith in God. True, our faith and obedience bring us happiness. But ultimately and finally, any lasting happiness we receive happens because it is grounded in God; no virtue is an end in itself. I.e. our happiness can be grounded in our faith because our faith is grounded in God.
3. This, of course, is one of the summer papers.

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