It’s something I have been praying for…a spirit of joy.
In this season of rebuilding, it sometimes feels allusive.
So when the opportunity to review a book for Crossway came up, I chose the one on the topic of Joy.
A friend of mine laughed with me in the car this evening as I talked with her about this book – going from Protestant to Pentecostal and all the confusion that can be. According to Noon, I am now Protecostal, since there are rich truths from both sides that I hold dear. And I am learning that they are actually more in harmony with one another than I had previously thought…
But I digress.
Reforming Joy: A Conversation Between Paul, the Reformers, and the Church Today by Tim Chester was what I needed to read – what I needed to sink into and be reminded of.
As a woman with friends who converted from Protestantism to Catholicism and trying to wrap my mind around this – this answered many of the questions I had that I could never seem to get answers to.
As a woman who is in a season of transition and rebuilding, it answered many questions about grace and mercy and the stability of Christ when nothing feels stable around me.
And as a woman who has been humbled in many different ways – whose pride came before her biggest fall this year, this book was a balm for the wounds and the pain.
The quote that stood out to me the most – the one that I couldn’t walk away from was this:
I’m deeply aware of my sin and count it a great wonder that God should delight in me because I’m righteous in Christ. So why do I resent God’s blessing on others? We need to believe justification by faith not only for ourselves but for others as well. Satan sees their faults and makes their faults the focus of his attention, which leads to accusation. God sees their faults and makes Christ the focus of His attention, which leads to affirmation. And we should be more like God than Satan! (pg. 55-56)
If you are in a season of pain and sorrow, pick up this book – let it point your heart to the goodness of God, the fullness of Christ’s sacrifice for us. Let it draw you deeper into a relationship with Jesus, whether you are Protestant, Pentecostal, or a mix of the two.