Fullness of Joy

In your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures foreveremore. ~Ps. 16:11

I don’t know how much there is to say here, but I do wonder how many of us believe this. Do we really believe that the fullness of joy is in his presence? Do we really believe there are pleasures forevermore at his right hand? Shoot, there are Christians who believe that God’s against pleasure, and that pleasurable feelings are automatically taboo.

God is the Creator of man, and when he walked on earth in human form, he spoke regularly of joy. In fact, he gave it as the purpose that he came. “I have come that [the sheep] might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly” (Jn. 10:10).

You will find the word joy 60 times in the New Testament and 95 times in the Old Testament (KJV).  In fact, listen to this passage:

Sing, O daughter of Zion
Shout, O Israel
Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, o daughter of Jerusalem

Yahweh has taken away your judgments
He has cast out your enemy
The King of Israel, Yahweh, is in your midst
You shall not see evil anymore . . .

Yahweh . . . will rejoice over you with joy
He will quiet you in his love
He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy!

Have you ever pictured the God of heaven rejoicing with shouts of joy?

But understand, the issue here is not how wonderfully happy you should be. The issue here is how focused on God you should be. It is not the seeking of the world, the obtaining of treasures, nor the fulfillment of your desires that will produce fullness of joy and pleasures forevermore; it is the presence of God.

The number of Christians that sing “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness” greatly outweighs the number of Christians that actually seek first the kingdom of God. College, savings accounts, retirement, and careers are all important to us. Those things are part of the American mantra, and most American Christians are more American than Christian (and here in the South, many are “doggone proud of it!”).

Dare we be among those who seek first the kingdom of God? Dare we believe that if we do so, then all our needs, as determined by God, will be added to us? Or must we first secure our own future?

I’m telling you that the happiest people on earth are not those who have made themselves the most secure, but those who trust God the most. Please don’t confuse those who trust God the most with those who are most religious. I mean those who trust God the most, not those who offer the loudest and most profuse prayers, nor those who attend church the most or hold positions in their church. I mean those who trust God, and sometimes those people don’t look very religious at all. They do, however, always look kind, and they almost never look rich.

Let’s close with something simple. The route to fullness of joy? Get in God’s presence. Seek God’s will, and don’t get it confused with your own. Take delight in the Lord God, and he will take great delight in you.

About paulfpavao

I am a church historian and pastor, but I do occasionally play APBA baseball for fun.
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