Each of our lives are shaped by grief and celebration. This isn’t true only for the grand, significant moments of our lives; there are ways in which every day of our lives are marked by moments of grief and celebration. Daily we are sad, mad, upset, or disappointed by something, and every day we are excited, happy, joyful, pumped, or thankful for something. It’s at the intersection between sadness and celebration that the true love of our hearts is exposed. Think for a minute —

When you look back on a good week, what are the things that excited you, satisfied you, or otherwise made you so happy that you name it as a good week? When you are happy with a relationship in your life, what are you considering that gives you joy? Be honest — what is it that brings joy and satisfaction to your heart?

Or look at the other side.

When you’re really disappointed with life, what is it that discourages you? When you are envious of the life of another, what produces that envy? When you have lost your motivation to get up in the morning and face your day, what specifically has robbed you of your motivation?

We need to take time to let these questions function as a window to our heart. Here’s the bottom-line question that really frames those emotions we just described:

How much of your joy, celebration, grief, or anger in the last several weeks had anything whatsoever to do with the kingdom of God?

It is so personal, so challenging; there is a conviction by how much of our joy is connected to getting things our way, to people and things not being in our way, or to actually getting some physical thing we’ve set our heart on. Yet, by grace, that is not always true. There are times when our heart grasps the magnitude of God’s grace, and we celebrate. There are times when we are captured by the work of God’s kingdom. There are moments when we do find joy in serving others. There are times when are deeply content in the worship of God.

Can you reflect and share some recent moments where your emotions (good or bad) did have something directly to do with the kingdom of God?

Let’s take time this week to examine our heart. Take time to define and capture our grief or unpack our joy, because if we do, we will see that there is evidence of God’s transforming grace at work, but there is also evidence of the need for that grace to do more. Yes, we have been and are being rescued, but our grief and celebration tell us that the war for our heart still rages on and, we are in need for grace to continue to do its rescuing and transforming work every day.

Tripp, Paul David (2014-10-31). New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional (p. 119). Crossway. Kindle Edition.