GRACE NOTES – PASTORAL LETTER 5.2.24


Dearly beloved saints of Covenant of Grace,
It was a source of refreshment and joy to be with you as we praised our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer this past Lord’s Day.  I have been praying for you since, asking Him to grant you to know a great measure of the joy of His salvation.  It is, after all, the unique privilege of the Christian, in a world so marred with the presence and effects of sin, to know true and lasting joy.  It is a joy that comes to us from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, to whom we’re inseparably united, who is now and evermore filled with joy at the right hand of His Father in heaven.  It is a joy in which David helps us to exult in Psalm 21, giving us fodder meditation that serves to kindle the same joy in our own hearts as we look forward to that day when we will be with Him forever.  The Psalm begins by begins by saying, “O LORD, in Your strength the King rejoices, and in Your salvation how greatly He exults!” going on to express the reason for this joy, “You have given him His heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of His lips” (Ps 21:1-2).  And what is the King’s desire?  What is it that the Father has been pleased to do for the Son, in answer to His request, that so fills our Savior with the joy that is ours to share?
For starters, we’re told that He rejoices because He has been abundantly blessed by being crowned as King of kings and Lord of lords (cf. Ps 21:3).  Having suffered for our sins and overcome the power of Satan, sin, death, and hell, Christ has been exalted to the right hand of the Father in heaven and granted absolute authority over the entirety of His creation.  The world and all that is in it belongs to Him, to rule and do with as He pleases.  And, what He is pleased to do is to gather from every nation a people for Himself, making us who believe by grace into a royal priesthood and holy nation who will forever reign with Him.  It is inevitable.  It is unstoppable.  It is certain.  It can’t be any other way, for He alone is the sovereign Ruler over all the works that He has made. 
In addition, He rejoices that, having conquered death, He has received life everlasting (cf. Ps 21:4).  Death had and has no claim or hold on Him.  He came to win life without end, and He has won it – life everlasting that He delights to share with His people, who are united to Him by faith.  It gives Him joy to have this life and to give it to us who, even now. participate in the first resurrection, having been spiritually raised from death to life, and who won’t be overcome by the second death, the pains of hell, but will share in the second resurrection with glorified bodies in which to praise the Lord forever.
And, having been crowned and made the source of life everlasting, He rejoices that He has been therein made radiant with glory, splendor, and majesty (cf. Ps 21:5).  It gives Him gladness of heart to not only possess, but to display this glory for our everlasting enjoyment, as we look forward to His return, when, “He comes on that day to be glorified in His saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed” (2 Thess 1:10).  To see Him will be for us to be made like Him, glorified at last and filled with the very joy of our King Himself.
Perhaps best of all, He rejoices that He dwells in the presence of His Father, knowing fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore – a position from which He will never be moved (cf. Ps 21:6-7).  And there, to drink in the abundant goodness of our God, we who have trusted in Christ will likewise be granted to dwell – overwhelmed with His magnificence and blessed in every way as He show us, “the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus” (Eph 2:7).  There, songs of praise will know no end.  There, we will know beyond, and experience in full measure, the purpose for which we were created – to glorify and enjoy Him forever.
And lastly, He rejoices that this will be an unstained joy, because He knows there will be a day of judgment, when the ungodly will forever be removed from His earth (cf. Ps 21:8-12).  He will forever reign over, and we will be with Him in, a world made knew, in which no unrighteousness dwells, where there is no sin, sorrow, pain, or death.  No more raging and plotting of wicked nations.  No more temptations to sin.  No more grieving over indwelling sin or the lost of loved ones.  Wickedness will be entirely removed, that He, and we with Him, may enjoy our God and His good gifts without interruption, without a dusk to draw the day to a close, without ever having to say goodbye.
In a world that gives us many reasons to be downcast, surrounded by people weighed down with the weight of sorrows and fears, let us think upon such things and be a joyful people.  Let us join with David and Christ and in the words of praise that close the twenty-first Psalm, looking for the fulness of Christ’s kingdom and saying, “Be exalted, O LORD, in Your strength! We will sing and praise Your power” (Ps 21:13).  Our King reigns!  And, as He sits on His throne where we will one day sit with Him, He is full of joy!
In Christ,
Pastor Eric
P.S.
Join us for the prayer meeting each Wednesday in the Fellowship Hall.  Dinner is served at 6:00pm, followed by a brief lesson and a time of prayer at 6:30.  Or, join us for prayer each Thursday at 10:30am in the adult Sunday School room.