Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Joy of The Lord Is Our Strength

“God made human beings as He made His other creatures, to be happy…They are in their right element when they are happy,” said Charles Spurgeon. 

God wants us to be full of His joy. This joy is our strength, fuelling our obedience and giving us hope. Without joy, our spiritual lives will wither and starve. Knowing this, one of the enemy’s chief tactics is to steal our joy. 

How does he do this? With his trademark deceit, the enemy offers us two charmingly wrapped lies. If we believe them, he can weaken or outright steal our joy.

Lie #1: God is not really happy.

Too often, we have a flawed view of God. We struggle to understand the truth that God is always, completely happy. 

As humans, we feel happy when we ace the interview, when our team wins the series, or when we feel like part of the group. When our circumstances change, we struggle with unhappiness. 

We assume that God’s joy, like ours, is fuelled by outside sources. Based on our human experience, we deduce that God will be happy only when X, Y, and Z happen. 

Yet Aquinas described God’s happiness in quite different terms. “God is happiness by his essence: for he is happy not by acquisition or participation of something else, but by his essence. On the other hand, men are happy by participation.” 

God is always happy because happiness is part of His character. And the best part is that He invites us to share in His happiness. 

“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love… These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full,” said Jesus in John 15:10-11. 

As we obey God, we can drink deeply at the fountain of His happiness. 

Lie #2: God is not happy with me.

The closer we grow to God, the more clearly we see our own frailties. We recognize that we are ordinary, imperfect humans. “How could God be happy with me?” we ask. “How could He take pleasure in this needy, self-centred, and often-stumbling servant?”

Yet the truth is that He does not love us because we are worthy. He loves us because we are His own. And out of His boundless love flows happiness. 

It makes God happy to hear us pray….from the lisping words of children to the heartfelt petitions of adults.
It makes Him happy to watch us become more like Jesus…in word, in attitude, and in action.
It makes Him happy to receive our love and worship, in our devotions and at our church in Sydney Mines. 

Let the words of Zephaniah 3:17 sink deep into your soul.
“The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.”
If you are His child, the Lord delights in you! Embrace this truth, and it will transform your view of God.

God designed you and I to be happy. At our church in Sydney Mines, we seek to find happiness in Him. As David wrote,“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

Know this. God is happy because happiness is part of His character. And He is happy with you because you are His.

As Tony Reinke wrote, “God does not give us any joy outside of the joy he has in himself already. Which means, God’s happiness is our strength.” 

The strength we desperately need—for today, for marriage, for training children, for trials, for church, for everything—is found in God’s happiness. 

Embrace God’s happiness, and you will find His strength.

Do you need God’s happiness today? Learn more from the Bible each week by worshipping with the friendly church family of Northside Baptist Church – Sundays at 11:00 am.
For more information, call (902) 736-6465 or email