This fact is liberating yet depressing, true yet seemingly false, and the direct path to life yet it’s almost always indirect the route we take to get there. When we understand this golden truth, then we have the lonely confidence to make the most of life:
“Peace is joy resting, and joy is peace dancing.”
—Charles Haddon Spurgeon
There is always something seemingly vital that we need to give up if we are to approach the Lord’s peace and joy – to rest well and to dance without inhibition. What we need to give up is our rights to ourselves. We need to explore a way of living that exposes us yet releases us. The releasing is conditional on the exposing. To gain something we need to give something up.
If we can no longer be held ransom for our needing all our rights satisfied, God can give us reign over the peace and joy available to us.
If we have no claim over the use and purpose of our lives – and the claims we have are generally self-serving – then God will make great use of us and he will give us a purpose that will provide us peace and joy.
Peace and joy collude. Joy and peace work in unison. When we present no barrier to the acquisition of joy and peace, the Lord works them more and more as yeast into the dough of our lives.
Joy and peace, peace and joy, are a two-for-one deal. And not only that, with the surrender that goes into the claiming of these two priceless gifts we get hope thrown in; and the ability to ply faith; and the desire and capacity to love.
What better life could there be than to rest in joy and to dance in peace? These are irrepressible destinations of the soul that seeks unity with God.
There is no catch other than to give up what we can’t keep (the control over our happiness) in order to gain what we can never lose (an operant salvation).
The best life is one that remits joy and peace, because those who have these partners-for-good will get a fire-sale of other miraculous qualities that ruminate within the being of the converted.
Joy and peace remain. Joy is inspiration and energy. Peace is a soul’s assurance. Joy expands capacity and capability. Peace makes them stable. Joy and peace work faithfully for each other. Have one and you have the other.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.