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The Failure of Earth’s Joys April 17, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Random Musings.
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Joe,

As I wrote yesterday, I had a wonderful time in Gaithersburg at the Sovereign Grace leadership conference.  What a refreshing time of worship through song and the Word and the fellowship of God’s people!  One thing that was evident to me throughout the three days (and especially in the singing) is that Sovereign Grace is truly a ministry that is committed to head and heart in the worship of God.  You would have loved it, brother.

At the end of the weekend, when we returned home on Saturday night, I felt a feeling that reminded me of how I felt after attending the 2004 Desiring God national conference.  It was not a pleasant feeling.  It had been a few marvelous days (both in 2004 and this past week), full of great worship and fellowship.  The conference was everything I hoped it would be, and much more.  Yet as I came home, I felt this disillusionment that even something so wonderful which surpassed my expectations, was now over.  It was back to the ‘weekly grind’ of message preparation, meetings and such.

That is the way the world’s joys are, even spiritual joys.  It is not only the pleasures of sin that are fleeting, but also spiritual pleasures in this world are fleeting.  The conference was great, and I have this kind of childlike desire to be able to do a time-warp and just replay the last week again and again, to enjoy it all over again.  But I can’t do it.  As great as the joy was, it is over.  Sure, the memory is still there, and the fruit from the conference can certainly be enduring for years to come.  I hope it will be.  But the truth is, even the high of a Christian conference cannot last forever.

But in the midst of that frustration, I was filled with a great hope.  For the delight of a conference like the one I attended was a mere foretaste of a joy to come, a joy that will never end. The worship of heaven will be a billion times more satisfying than it was last week in Gaithersburg, and it will last for eternity.  There will be no long, three hour car ride home with only the memory of a sweet time, and a growing frustration that things will soon return to ‘normal’.  Heaven is eternal, ever-increasing joy in God multiplied for the ages and ages to come.  I cannot fathom it!

So I am grateful to God for my time away last week, and for the present joy that it brought me.  And as I have thought about my frustration in the fleeting nature of that joy, I am also thankful to God that our pleasures in this life (even the God-glorifying pleasures) do not satisfy us ultimately.  They whet the appetite for our future home, when the joy will never fade, but will increase throughout all eternity!

Marantha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

Larry

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