Kind of a weird blog title but this is something Kevin and I have been thinking about lately. This can be a hard balance (for us) to strike sometimes. So many things are sad, broken, less-than-ideal in the world, everything from big stuff like forced child labor in Cambodia, to small stuff, like the way a child disobeys or an unideal life circumstance. As Christians we know life is going to be like this and we also know God wants us to help the suffering, etc.
At the same time we are to be filled with the hope and joy of the Lord! Does anyone else ever occasionally have a hard time trying to figure out how you (practically-speaking) maintain both? I'm not a melancholy or pessimistic person AT ALL, but I DO feel discontent over certain things. While I think we're SUPPOSED to be troubled by troubling things, I want to always be rejoicing in and trusting the Lord as well.
For example, some things I personally am not content with include: the many injustices throughout the world, much of the way Christendom (now that's a big word) operates, some of our own life circumstances right now (Kevin commuting, our lack of involvement in our own community). I've read some books (the Bible!, "The Good News About Injustice", "Reclaiming God's Original Intent for the Church", "The Shaping of Things to Come", "The Irresistible Revolution") that offer a different way of doing things, much of what I think is right-on. I always want to transform what I read and think into actions that are truly pleasing to the Lord; basically I don't want to stop at just being angst-filled over stuff.
So I suppose maybe it's about figuring out HOW to transform our thoughts, feelings, and ultimately convictions into action for Christ. I think we will always feel a tension on this earth because it's broken. So we put our faith and trust in God daily, praying that He will give us the courage to love others in a purposeful way. We also pray that He'll give us a spirit of contentedness--not with the way our broken world is, but contentedness in His love and grace and soveriegnty and the hope that is in Jesus. Because those are amazing things to rejoice in!