Joy, Joy, Joy, tears of Joy

 Yesterday, my ten-year old and I listened to a TED talk of Billy Graham.  He was 80 years old.  The year was 1998.  Imagine–Mr. Graham is 96 years old!  From his talk to techies in Silicone Valley, he shared a quote from the greatest mathematician and scientist who greatly influenced the beginnings of computer technology.

It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not by the reason.

Blaise Pascal

The quote warmed my soul because it was what I was trying to convey in my post yesterday of not being able to comprehend the love of Christ!  As I dug further, I did not realize that John Piper was greatly influenced by Pascal’s joy in Christ.  Here is an excerpt from John Piper’s blog Desiring God:

Blaise Pascal was a French mathematical genius who was born June 19, 1623. After running from God until he was 31 years old, on November 23, 1654 at 10:30 pm, Pascal met God and was profoundly and unshakably converted to Jesus Christ. He wrote it down on a piece of parchment and sewed into his coat where it was found after his death eight years later. It said,

Year of grace 1654, Monday 23 November, feast of St. Clement . . . from about half past ten at night to about half an hour after midnight, FIRE. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, not of philosophers and scholars. Certitude, heartfelt joy, peace. God of Jesus Christ. God of Jesus Christ. “My God and your God.” . . . Joy, Joy, Joy, tears of joy. . . Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ. May I never be separated from him.

…..I suspected this was true. But I always feared that it was sin. That wanting to be happy was a moral defect. That self-denial meant renouncing joy, not renouncing lesser joys for greater joys.

Thank you, Blaise Pascal

But then God conspired with these writers to force me to reread the Bible. To give it a chance to have its true say. And what I found there concerning joy changed me forever. I have been trying to understand it and live it and teach it ever since. It’s not new. It’s been there for thousands of years.

I thank God today for Pascal’s part in my awakening. (John Piper)

I pray you can take the time to listen to Mr. Graham.  You will be lifted and encouraged!

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