Joy

Book Briefs: Rejoice & Tremble by Michael Reeves

"...there are times when this book feels more academic than I would like. But in the end, I found that Michael Reeves thoroughness provides a firm and stable biblical foundation for adopting a nuanced understanding of the fear of the Lord. (If you’d like a more concise version of Rejoice & Tremble, Reeves released an 80-page version..." - Tim Augustyn

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Culture War, Outrage, and Joy

These days, you don’t have to be a news junky to hear of events that arouse strong disapproval or outright anger. But how should Christians feel about the foolishness and wrongdoing going on in our world and our culture? Should we be unmoved? Should we be perpetually outraged? What about Christian joy?

The Bible is clear that some things ought to get us worked up. We’re called to “hate evil” (Psalm 97:10, Prov 8:13, Amos 5:15), to “be angry” yet “not sin” (Eph 4:26).

We’re also called to be imitators of God and to be re-formed in His image (Eph 5:1, Col 3:10, Gal 4:19). We’re to walk as Christ walked (1 John 2:6). And anger is clearly part of who God is.

God is a righteous judge, and a God who feels indignation every day. (ESV, Psa 7:11)

And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” (John 2:15–17)

Scripture is also clear, though, that human anger is tainted. We’re frequently warned against it. For us, “righteous indignation” is apparently less likely than the unrighteous variety.

…for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (Jas 1:20)

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“Scripture shows that well-instructed believers develop a determination to rejoice.”

"In Romans 5:1–11, Paul leads us from rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God (v. 2) to joy that comes in tribulation (v. 3) to exulting in God Himself (v. 11; see Ps. 43:4). The unbeliever finds this incredible, because he has been blinded by the joy-depriving lie of Satan that to glorify God is the high road to joylessness." - Ligonier

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