June 29, 2021
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 29 June 2021
The command that is repeated most frequently in the Bible is "rejoice.” To rejoice not only means to have joy, but also to be joyful. Being joyful means to feel exceeding gladness and to express that joy. We are commanded to be joyful, not for God’s benefit but for our sake. Psalms 5:11 declares,
But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy. . . .
Joy is more than mere positive thinking or being psyched with compliments and encouragement. At its foundation, joy is based in God’s nature! To rejoice is to recognize that we have a reason to be encouraged. Through a faith relationship with Jesus Christ, God is for us, and heartily and joyfully embraces us as his own!
The God of the Bible is a joyful God (John 15:11). He is a happy God who delights and takes pleasure in his handiwork. He is a God who is ever working to bring problems to resolution, to meet needs, to bring order from chaos, and good from evil. God delights in his work and joy is his attitude!
Perhaps one of the most resolute words associated with joy in the Scriptures is “delight.” We are to take delight – have joy – when considering God’s presence, power, Word, and work. The more we delight in the Lord, the more fully we recognize Him working on our behalf and experience his presence. The more we recognize God working on our behalf, the more joy we experience. The more joy we experience, the more likely we are to express it.
Joy is also closely related to praise in the Bible. Singing and shouting, of course, naturally lead to spontaneous clapping, dancing, and general music-making. The last five psalms in the Bible each seem to burst with energy, as if the words themselves cannot contain the glory and power they desire to express. Indeed, it would seem from Scripture that there is no such thing as “a little joy.”
Joy is an inevitable component of the Christian expression of life. Happiness is not a luxury; it is a necessity. The most dangerous disease of the world is “unhappiness” because it spreads chaos not only in the mind and soul and in one’s relationships, but also in one’s body as well. A lack of joy probably causes more sickness than any other thing. Unhappiness produces conflicts that lessen our efficiency. If you are not redeemed from unhappiness, you are not fully redeemed.
Many do not expect their faith to make them basically and fully joyful now for that is supposedly reserved for the hereafter. Against such thinking, 1 Timothy 6:17 declares that it is God “who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” You do not have to go outside Christ to have all the joys of life fulfilled. God provides us with the joys of life!
REMINDER: the Capitol Commission (interim) Bible Studyis next Tuesday, 6th of Julyvia Zoom @ 12 Noon