The Source Of Joy
Many people think of God as a harsh celestial critic who doesn*t enjoy anything and doesn*t want us to enjoy anything either. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everything that He created was created for His pleasure AND OURS.
Revelation 4:11: Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.
We were created in His image. We also want enjoyment. We create things to enjoy. We are to enjoy the same things that He enjoys. The better we know Him the more we will enjoy them.
Galatians 5:22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Wait a minute! Hold everything! That means that the Holy Spirit gives us joy. When we are filled with the Spirit we have joy. When we are filled with something else, we will not be filled with the Holy Spirit. At those times, what we are usually filled with is self, pride in self, desires for self, activities for self, self-love, self-loathing, self-pity, self-will, everything for self. The fruit of self is not love, not joy, not peace, not patience, not gentleness, not goodness and not faith.
That is not to say that Spirit filled Christians will not have trials and difficulties. Unbelievers have those things too, and in fact, they have far more trials and difficulties than we do.
Some of the passages from the Bible that I love to collect are those that speak of God*s enjoyment and the enjoyment that He wants to give us.
Philippians 2:13: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
When we are surrendered to God, belong to Him and walk with Him we enjoy His creation and His activities far more than we could otherwise because we then see things from closer to where He is, from His perspective. When we are far from Him and running away from Him we see His activities and creation as undesirable, as things that cannot be enjoyed.
The Bible says that God loves us. When you love someone, you do not want to make them miserable. Neither does God. You want to bless them. So does God.”
God gives us the things to rejoice over.
Psalms 16:11: Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
1 Timothy 6:17: Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;
Luke 15:10: Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.
The angels have joy because they are in the presence of God. Same with us.
Isaiah 61:10: I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
Jeremiah 32:41: Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, . . .
Isaiah 26:3: Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Keeping God, His activities and His creation in our minds will give us both peace and joy.
Romans 14:17: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
It is a shame that so many don*t understand that when they reject Christ, they are rejecting joy.
Habakkuk 3:18: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Habakkuk was wiser than I am. I have enjoyed my life and everything in it far more since I surrendered my heart to the Lord. But I am often too dumb to know the cause of my joy.
Romans 15:13: Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.