There are times when meditation over Scripture or theological truths overflows into written word. Writing has been a means of sanctification for me. I learn and grow through working out my own doubts, concerns, struggles, sins, and attitudes through writing. At times, I am pleased to share some of my own musings with the hopes that it helps others to learn and grow in their faith. Ultimately I write to increase my own joy in God, which fuels a desire to see others find and relish joy in God.
In today’s post, I wanted to simply expose the nature of joy in God and how it encompasses the whole of the Christian life. Joy in God, as I argue in my first book releasing later this year, is the fuel for Christian living. The way we live our lives is highly dependent on where we find our satisfaction. This is why Christian Hedonism appeals to me. What follows are some theological musings on the glory of joy in God. Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comment section.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4).
The ultimate fulfillment of joy in man is found in the ultimate expression of love from God.
Never say that joy cannot be found in suffering. Eternal joy is found in the suffering of our Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ.
In fact, joy is more profound, more real, more weighty and has more substance when found amidst suffering.
Joy in God is not dependent upon circumstances.
Joy in God is dependent on the grace of the joy Giver.
Grace enables and fuels joy in God.
Where repentance goes, joy in God swiftly follows.
Joy in God is found where repentance has left its mark.
Joy in God is the footprint left by repentance.
Repenting is not only necessary for salvation, commanded by God, and a requirement for admission into the Kingdom, it is also the most freeing, liberating, and relieving act one can make.
Resting in repentance is breeding ground for a multitude of joy.
Joy in God is satisfaction in God.
Satisfaction in God is contentment in God.
Contentment in God results from resting in an eternal covenantal bond of which the Cornerstone announces: “I will never leave you nor forsake you!”
Repentance is a marker of a member of this covenant.
Eternal joy in God is impossible outside of a repentant heart.
Joy in God is seen in dependance as well.
Holiness is the soil in which joy in God grows.
Rich holiness leads to healthy and plentiful joy in God.
And peace will always follow joy in God.
Pursuing joy in God is nothing more than the way of salvation, which is of the Lord.
Joy in God is the catalyst for neighbor-love and enemy-love, because it is the only proper, satisfying, and freeing way to love yourself.
If you want to love yourself well, you should run to the eternal fountain of God’s joy and drink deeply.
Loving yourself then can be holy and good and God-glorifying as the best teacher for neighbor-love and enemy-love.
Magnify the glory of God by being satisfied in him today.
Be content in the Lord our God today and by doing so magnify his all-sufficient grace and demonstrate your dependence on him.
Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself.
If you want to love yourself and your neighbor well, you will love God to the end of glorifying him through your satisfaction of him.
Seek their joy in God.
Even better, seek your joy in their joy in God.
Oh, the glory of God in his satisfaction of his people.
May we ever revel in and spread the joy and glory of his grace.
Under this theology we will enter heaven with full hearts and eager appetites.
Mathew Gilbert is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church East Bernstadt. He is the author of the forthcoming book Come to the Well: 50 Meditations to Fuel Your Joy in God (CrossBooks). Mathew lives in London, KY with his wife, Erica, and their dog, Simba.