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The Joy of God’s Presence

April 6, 2023

“But I trust in Your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in Your salvation.  I will sing to the LORD, for He has been good to me.”  Psalm 13:5-6

The Westminster Shorter Catechism says: “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” Perhaps one of the greatest ways that we as Christians can love God is to enjoy Him. How does obedience glorify God if there is no joy? How does service glorify God with no joy? How does giving glorify Him without joy? Our lives ought to be a song of joyful praise to our God, for who He is and for what He has done.

In his book, Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote that God designed man to find his supreme happiness in Him alone. He goes on to explain how sin robbed man of the joy that only God can give. Satan convinced our ancestors in the Garden of Eden that they could invent some kind of happiness apart from God. He deceived Eve into believing that she could be “like God,” and that God was withholding something good from her. That first bite of the forbidden fruit was nothing more than a hopeless attempt to find something other than God to make her happy. Out of that first choice flowed all of human history…countless attempts throughout the ages to find joy somewhere other than in God. Money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, slavery, empires – the long, dreadful story of man’s futile attempts to satisfy an unquenchable thirst for God alone.

Psalm 16:11 says, “You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.” The psalmist understood what many of us do not – that it is useless to pray that God grants happiness through anything or anyone other than Himself. He cannot do it. Why? Because it is not there; such happiness does not exist. There is no real satisfaction or joy apart from Him. We were created to be in relationship with Him. Not just an intellectual belief, but also a deep, meaningful, intimate, joyful communion with our Creator. To know Him is to know joy like no other.

John Piper said it might be more accurate to say that: “The chief end of man is to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.” When we enjoy God, He is glorified through our lives.  So how do we enjoy Him? There is no four-step process or spiritual formula. We enjoy Him by looking to Him to meet every need, comfort every heartache, fill every void, and guide every step. We enjoy Him by spending time with Him. The more we know God, the more we will experience true happiness.

Dear God, Your grace and mercy are all I could ever need to be truly satisfied and joyful.  When I think about Your salvation, my heart overflows with gratitude and praise. Please forgive me for looking to other things for happiness. You alone are my hope and my joy.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Topics: Joy

Bible Reference

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
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