Let Your ways be known upon earth; Your saving health be among all nations. Let the people praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you. Let the nations be glad and sing for joy …..” Psalm 67: 2 – 4a
As Christians we should be the definitions of joy. Mahatma Gandhi said, “A human’s joy knows no bounds when they obtain something beyond hopes.”
We can hope for things and feelings to come to us all the time. But, beyond the realm of just hoping for something – Spiritual euphoria is discovered when you will have a happiness to be experienced with all your spiritual might.
In II Samuel 6:2-3, 5, 14-15 the Bible states: “And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Baalejudah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim. And they carried the ark of God upon a new cart . . . and David and all the house of Israel were making merry before the Lord with all their might, with songs and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals. And David danced before the Lord with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.” [That means he wore a little, white apron.] So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the horn.” What a wonderful scripture this is.
Why are we so rigid, serious and solemn before God? I think we can really celebrate and be so filled with love and joy we would have the biggest smiley face you can imagine. We have to first believe, no absolutely KNOW, that God is here with us, and then total joy would be the way we’d feel. We’d want to celebrate, wouldn’t we?
“Too many people feel that their religion HAS to be gloomy, and overly serious. They think that in order to be profound and deep they have to be very solemn. The world is God’s song of joy. It has been correctly said, we either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same. God is singing; dancing too, no doubt. The world is the song God sings. God is love, and God is joy. Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” quoted from Dick Chenowworth
Our FIRST, first lady, Martha Washington said, “The greater part of our joy or misery depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances. We carry the seeds of the one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go.”
“To get up each morning with the resolve to be joyful . . . is to set our own conditions to the events of each day. To do this is to condition circumstances instead of being conditioned by them.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson
We all have read and, hopefully believe deep within our soul, that God is a God of joy. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, said that God is love. There is no doubt. So, do you think that love could hate you or condemn you? Do you think that , when Love made you, could He say, “I’m disappointed I don’t really love this one?” That’s not God. That’s NOT what Jesus said! That’s only a God, that somebody makes up who has a very limited concept. We say about God says more about us than God.
“Delight yourself in the Lord; and God will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
We have no idea how deep God’s love for us goes. God is Love. God is unimaginable love, unimaginable life, unimaginable joy. As humans, we find sometimes this a difficult concept. God and His love and joy is so beyond anything we can display, feel, or imagine. Think about this: Is there any kind of life worth living – other than one of joy and love. Do not limit yourself. We will never measure up to God’s love and joy, but we can work on achieving the best and most that we can without trying to limit ourselves. Our life is a journey as we discussed many times; let’s make it a joyous journey, so full of love and devotion that our hearts are overwhelmed.
Now, here is another concept that Dick speaks about. “In the Bible, Jesus said in three different gospels (so it has importance) that nobody gets into heaven except children. Nobody. Are you a child? Are you childlike? But, stop and think-if you have to be a child to get into heaven, what does a child have? One thing a child has is utter, trusting love.”
As a child ages, he/she learns not trust our love. You know when we are around children, just watching them, we always smile. We watch them run and dance and play – uninhibited. And my grandbabies run to us and hug us and love us with such great joy. Well, this is after they hide from us and we have to look for them as they giggle behind the sofa or chair. Ahh, the love and trust of a child. We know , deep inside that’s the way the world ought to be. Now, let’s observe and model ourselves so we can re-learn that from the children.
So, try to always fill yourselves with love and joy. Isn’t God wonderful? Isn’t life wonderful? It can be – it’s up to you. As a believer, you know that thanks to God, you have all the wonderful faculties you need to live a creative, beautiful, life, IF you will. Now is the time to start living it in faith and trust . Dare to act like a child of God. And really trust that the world is good and full of love, and it will respond to you with love when you give love.
“Approach life with the wow factor, explore, and find joy in every day and you’ll become like a little child again.”
“In Thy presence is fullness of joy; in Thy right hand there are pleasures forever.” Psalm 16:11
John Piper in his book “Desiring God” says, “The chief end of a human is glorifying God.”
And I quote these knowing that – by accepting Him as my Lord and Savior – the greatest joy comes from the God who gave His only Son so I will be forever a smile on Hi face, and He will lead me to eternal life. Here are a few more quotes.
“.it is unbiblical and arrogant to try to worship God for any other reason than the pleasure to be found in God.”
“Praising God, the highest calling of humanity and our eternal vocation, did not involve the renunciation but rather the consummation of the joy I so desired.”
“My aim is to own up to the amazing, and largely neglected, fact that some dimension of joy is a moral duty in all true worship and all virtuous acts.”
George Bernard Shaw said, “This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of joyful nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the community, and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can in a joyful way.”
Now accept that God made you with infinite possibilities. Be like the child who lets him/herself be just what they are made to be – that’s it and that’s truth. And the child lives for joy and laughter. We are all children of God. We are a living new joyous song of life. The more we succeed at it, the more quickly the world will begin to sing that song with us.
Let us pray: Dear God, Today, we worship You today in FULL joy. Help each of us to become like a child again with a mind filled of wow and wonder. If we have let life take too much of a toll on us, help us to again experience full joy and to express it daily and worship of You. Help us to wear a smile instead of a frown and show to all what being infilled with a full spiritual presence of You means. In Jesus Christ’s name. Amen
Today and every day let us give thanks for the awareness of our joy in God.
I am ready to exhibit my inner joy – are you?
God bless you!