Today's encouragement comes from Luke 8:1, which says this:
"Now it came to pass, afterward, that [Jesus] went through every city and vil-lage, preaching and bringing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. And the twelve were with Him."
I wonder if we believers sometimes forget that the gospel of Christ's kingdom is one of "glad tidings." We bear our crosses, endure sufferings and afflic-tions, and go through the furnace of purification (repentance)—and this does not seem to be such a happy prospect.
But, indeed, these things *are* part and parcel of the gladness of soul and body that Jesus brings to His church. Renewed cleansing, and focused de-termination lead to a great degree of divine joy—unknown by and unparal-leled by anything in the world.
[Puritan quote of the day: "God has made man's emptiness and misery, his low, lost, and ruined state into which he sank by the Fall, an occasion of the greater advancement of His own glory.” —Jonathan Edwards, in his sermon, "God Glorified in Man's Dependence"]