Thursday, Dec. 12 – Matt Renfer

12 Dec

Thursday, Dec. 12 – Joy

Today’s Scripture:
1 Chronicles 16:23-34; Luke 2:7-14

It wasn’t too long ago that I accepted Christ as my savior. I’m 28 years old, I was saved at 25, and I’m thankful to call BRCC my first home church.

I’m not going to say that life was suddenly joyful at the moment of conversion onward. Because it wasn’t. A big part of accepting Christ for me was accepting a responsibility that came with it: that I was no longer able to live as if truth didn’t exist.

Yes, that’s right. There was a time when I believed that the very idea of truth was unreliable. “Truth is relative, so why does it matter how I live, so long as I uphold to my own version of what is true?” The consequence to this mindset was a default behavior of hopelessness, anxiety, and despair. I felt as if everything were up to me—that there wasn’t a larger meaning to life, and that it was solely up to us to create that meaning.

It’s not that I was living a life of extreme sin and wickedness. It was simply a life ignorant of the creator God, and that is reason enough to change.

It took quite a bit of convincing and no small amount of friendly patience to shed that worldview and accept the possibility of absolute truth. Even then, believing God exists wasn’t sudden, nor was it dramatic. It was a gradual process of many hard walls coming down. It began to be real, though, when I realized that the walls I built to keep out pain were the same walls keeping out joy; and that those walls—thanks be to God—were on their way down to let joy in.

I wouldn’t be honest if I said those walls are down completely. There are times I have to stop myself and realize that the only one getting in the way of joy is me. Accepting Christ in many ways has been a huge maturing process. And even though this personal journey has largely been a search to trust what is true—to fully believe our Father is trustworthy, compassionate, and loving—joy is the electric current running through it all.

After accepting Christ, it became possible to believe in our Father at a time when I no longer believed in my worldly father. And then, through the work of Christ, a father-son reconciliation was made possible. Now the meaning of joy—along with peace, hope, and love—are no longer untrue!

1 Chronicles 16 talks of a joy so great that even the trees sing of it, and that this is what naturally occurs when we acknowledge our God and are united with Him. That same overabundance of joy has taken me completely off guard in the best possible way. To be open to that chance—those opportunities for sparks to flame up naturally and without effort—is to truly be living in abundance, and I’ll always want to be a part of it. It’s a blessing indeed to know that there’s always a chance the lights will turn on at any season of the journey, so long as our hearts are open to it.

-Matt Renfer

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2 Responses to “Thursday, Dec. 12 – Matt Renfer”

  1. Caroline Lewis December 13, 2013 at 8:03 am #

    wow. well said. thanks for your honesty.

  2. Philip December 18, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    “…the walls I built to keep out pain were the same walls keeping out joy.” Great insight.

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