Act of Approach

Remember, O My Soul,

It is my great duty and delight to rejoice in God:

He requires it of me for all his gracious favor

Rejoice then in the One who gives and in His goodness toward you,

Be happy in the Lord, O my heart, and in nothing else but God,

For whatever man can trust in

Is where he will expect to find happiness.

But the Lord God, who is the foundation of my faith,

Should also be the substance of my joy.

 

Where does the heaviness and heartache of life come from?

When joy is yet planted deeply in my heart,

Promised by the Father

Imparted by the Son

Produced by the Holy Spirit,

Mine by God’s divine grace

Joy is then my birthright in believing!

 

Are you, O my soul, seeking joy by believing in yourself,

Derived from a selfish motive of pride and exalted reputation?

I can claim no good deeds to my merit, but only sinful pursuits;

I have nothing to move God to be gracious in saving me,

Nor have I anything to claim in myself to warrant his continued grace.

If I forget this truth, then my joy will slip away and be lost.

 

Are you grieving O weary soul, over some recurring sin that you have yet to confess?

Pray for godly sorrow to work the good of repentance,

As those of true spirit are blessed of the Lord

As in that same spirit comes the fullest joy.

 

When sorrows rise over the failings of self, rejoicing in God is a door opened to you,

For self-denial brings down divine delights of grace and mercy.

Are you comfortable, O soul, in the worldly goods of mankind?

Do not look for or settle yourself on happiness in worldly possessions,

And do not fall asleep in the lap of temptation

Press into God and make Him your everything,

And the never-ending fountain of divine joy will overwhelm you

 

Translated from Valley of Vision, A Colloquy on Rejoicing, p. 278-279

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