She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. Proverbs 31:25 NLT
Once upon a time, if my mind became aware of the fact that my heart was happy and content, I would be thrown into a sense of panic and impending doom. Surely, such joy could not last. Surely, there was tragedy just around the corner. These days, my soul is quiet and secure, anchored in the knowledge that I am deeply loved by a benevolent and thoughtful God. Before I came to know the Lord, there lingered in me the certainty that I did not deserve joy when I found it. I believed that, somehow, if I had stumbled my way into a happy place, it would be taken from me as soon as the powers-that-be found out about it. I was fearful. But according to 1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” God’s love led me to the discovery of joy not based on carnal pursuits and selfish ambitions. God’s love freed me from the fear of punishment.
Does this mean I live a perfect life, free of mistakes and sin? No. But I’ve accepted that Christ imputed righteousness to me, that His standard is mine to achieve, and that I am able to do so not because I’m very smart, attractive, or rich – but rather because of an audacious belief that all things are possible to she who believes!
There’s more to my story, and if you’re interested you can drop me a line, because I’m happy to share. My hope for you today is that you fully enjoy the guilt-free pleasures of a happy life knowing that it pleases God that His people should experience joy in this life – not just the one to come. Shalom!