A Seemingly Forgotten Reality
The dust of the ages must be blown off a precious treasure when it is discovered. A hidden gem full of beauty, but buried beneath centuries of dirt is quite a breathtaking discovery. In a similar manner, sometimes we as Christians can fall prey to neglecting particular aspects of biblical reality. Like the awe-inspiring jewel, the truth was always there, yet sometimes we push it aside underneath mountains of dust, debris, and dirt which need to be cleaned out of our life. One such wonder which must be rediscovered is the necessity of believers possessing an intense joy derived from who God is and the glory of His work. We need to again learn to be amazed at who God is and the grandeur of His creation. It is right for us to understand Christianity as being about Truth. Yet, truth is not merely a matter of stuffy propositions tucked away in an ivory tower. Truth is beautiful, it is captivating, and inspires the individual to stand back in amazement with deep joy.
Are we right to think of Christianity as not only being true but beautifully joyous? Repeatedly, the psalmists exclaimed their delight and rejoicing in God, His Works, and His law/standards (Psalm 1:2, 37:4, 40:8, 51:6, 111:2, 119:14, 119:74). Paul testified as to His joy in the law of God (Romans 7:22) and rejoicing in the proclamation of Christ (Philippians 1:18-19). In fact, the Apostle said that he would not only remain for the progress of the saints, but also for their joy in the faith (Philippians 1:25). From all of these statements, and countless more, I conclude biblically speaking that Christianity must impact a person to experience everlasting joy. They know the true God through the work of Christ bringing them into personal relationship with the One who is beautiful, good, true, and beyond anything we can imagine. It is my assertion in this article that we as believers need to recover certain awe and amazement with God, His Word, His Works, and the world He has created because He is beautiful and glorious!
Creation Points Us To God’s Beauty
Delicate precision is necessary when talking about the beauty of creation. On the one hand, Christians understand the fallenness of this world. Certain aspects of it are devastatingly ugly. Hitler’s atrocious holocaust was not only gravely immoral it was an example of some of the most hideous and repulsing aspects of this world one can ever see. The impact of sin is that it brings with it the curse of ugliness. An animal dying from a mangled encounter with a car accident is an ugly incident. Young children suffering from starvation or painful disease is not merely tragic, it sets the nastiness of the impact of sin and the fall right before our eyes with great pain. When we look at these aspects of the world we are right to decry their foul nature being the result of evil, sin, and wickedness. Where there is evil there is moral ugliness in plain sight.
However, we also equally know there is profound beauty in the world. When God created the world he called everything “good” concluding on the sixth day by asserting the phrase “very good” demonstrating the perfection of His work (Genesis 1). In fact, Ecclesiastes 3:11 testifies:
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.” -Ecclesiastes 3:11
God is Himself beautiful being the sum total of perfection. Therefore, even in a fallen world, we see beauty because the creation is the work of God. An early morning filled with the pink rays of the sun glowing on fluffy clouds accompanied by the fresh smell of dewy grass and chirping birds is stunning to behold. Parents steadily raising their children in a godly manner day-by-day is not only biblical it is also beautiful because it is pleasing to God. The man who sacrifices his own life by taking the bullet for another has not only done something heroic, he has performed an action which stirs our souls to see wonder in this world. All of these realities are proof of the magnificence of what God has made and they should stir our souls to the depths of lasting joy found in Him alone.
Living Awe-Inspired Lives
Whenever we think of beauty in this world often the first thing which comes to mind is mere physical attractiveness. Indeed, there is such a category of beauty as even the Bible testifies in the story of Esther (Esther 2:7). With that being stated, if we leave beauty at merely the physical we as Christians are acting no better than an atheist who believes only in a material world with nothing transcending it. No, the amazing nature of this universe is meant to point us to the far more incredible God who made it. Regardless of how much beauty one sees in the galaxy, it is nothing in proportion to the beauty of God Himself. We as Christians not only live in a meaningful and purposeful manner because of the call God has given to us. It is also our duty to live in a way that takes joy in God as we live. Our lives should be filled with amazement at the creation because it testifies to the awesomeness of the Creator. The beauty and perfection of God’s revelation in the written Word should overwhelm our hearts causing them to leap with passion for the One who has shown Himself to us. Christians should not only live according to doctrinal truth, but they should do so with passion being invigorated by the great God we serve.
This brings us to the main point, friends, we serve an awesome God and should be enamored by the reality every day we live. Each breath is a gift, every second a kindness of mercy, and we must not take these truths for granted. God has placed us in the world to steward it well, use it for His glory, and spend our lives for His eternal glory. All of these realities demand we live with gratitude, joy, and thankfulness because it flows out of hearts once we see the great God who has brought us near to Himself. May we never fail to be enamored with who He is, but constantly grow each day in our wonder at His glory as we stare at it for eternity! Once we understand these biblical truths, our hearts are ignited with passion to love God and others because we see the beautiful truth of Christianity. It is the uncovered gem which brings eternal joy to our souls.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” -Matthew 13:44
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