My concept of God might be different than yours. I believe God is loving, caring, and full of joy. God gave us our sight so we can have the pleasure of seeing rainbows, butterflies, and majestic mountain ranges.
I thank God that He blessed me with the sense of smell, so I can enjoy the aroma of a freshly baked cake; and I am overjoyed that He created me with taste buds, so I can savor the flavor of apple pie topped off with a big dip of vanilla ice cream.
On my journeys into the wilderness, I’ve enjoyed the solitude of silence that is only interrupted by the chirping of a bird, the whistle of a quail, or the refreshing sound of a flowing river.
I’m glad that God wants His people to experience the wonder of joy and the fruit of happiness. Solomon wrote of this in the Proverbs: “A joyful heart makes a face cheerful, but a sad heart produces a broken spirit . . . a cheerful heart has a continual feast (15:13, 15).”
A couple of chapters later, Solomon draws a contrast between the joyless and the joy-filled: “One with a twisted mind will not succeed, and one with deceitful speech will fall into ruin. A joyful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones (17:20, 22).”
Since a joyful heart is good medicine, here’s a medicine chest full of quotes:
- The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things. ~ Henry Ward Beecher
- I think I began learning long ago that those who are happiest are those who do the most for others. ~ Booker T. Washington
- If we try hard to bring happiness to others, we cannot stop it from coming to us also. To get joy, we must give it, and to keep joy, we must scatter it. ~John Templeton
- You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; this is why God, Your God has anointed you with the oil of joy. ~Hebrews 1:9
- I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is My command: Love one another as I have loved you. ~John 15:11-12
The key to living a life of joy is found in the words of the Psalmist: “You reveal the path of life to me; in Your presence is abundant joy; in Your right hand are eternal pleasures.” ~Psalm 16:11
Three questions come to mind when I think of the verse above:
- Since God reveals the path of life to you, why take a detour?
- If abundant joy is found in His presence, what do you have when you refuse it?
- If eternal pleasures are in God’s right hand, what is left? Temporary and unfulfilling worthless worries?
I’ll close with the words of Paul: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” ~Philippians 4:4