Joyful God

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

Zephaniah 3:17 ESV

Have you ever stopped and thought about how joyful God is? We in recent months have been growing in our conception of our Heavenly Father and his great love for us. God is compassionate, merciful, wise, patient and faithful. Meditating on these characteristics helps us trust God more and further binds our hearts to his. What about thinking of God as joyful? What does that angle contribute to our picture of him? It has the potential to do much!

In the light of all the suffering we know God witnesses each day, it is not natural for us to think of God as full of joy. But the God who encourages his children to keep their minds upon what is pure, true, lovely, and of good report, is no hypocrite. While God does not turn his face from any suffering soul, neither is he absorbed only in the devastation sin has caused. The same God who faithfully abides with the sufferer also rejoices over the victory his love has obtained. God knows better than anyone that the controversy is nearly ended and his children are coming home.

The picture scripture paints of a God who dances and sings over his children is full of joy. The God who created laughter and created us in his image also finds pleasure in humor. There is a reason that the deep belly laugh of a small child is perhaps the sweetest of sounds to our ears. We were engineered to find happiness contagious.

When we meditate on the joyfulness of God we realize that our Father is not just good and compassionate, he is fun. Sometimes we unconsciously feel we need a break from spirituality because we don't understand the lighter side of God. Christianity is often associated with a level of intensity that is impossible to maintain. Yes, eternity and lost souls are hanging in the balance, but God desires health, rest, and balance for his children. 

How often an honest reach for relaxation leads us away from the father and into entertainment that only leaves us feeling empty rather than refreshed. The God who desires to lead us by still waters and restore our soul is no dead-beat. He created within us the desire for rest and recreation and he knows how to rejuvenate us. Instead of turning to the often isolating outlet of media let's invest in spending more time together. God designed for us to seek out the fellowship of a loved one our friends when we need a good laugh. Humor and fellowship have the potential to refresh us in a uniquely valuable way.

God is capable of and deeply desirous of restoring laughter to our homes. Inside the family circle, both church and biological, is where lasting joy and rejuvenation is found. Home is where tickling, wrestling matches, and Hide n Seek were invented, don't allow anything to rob you or your children of one-another's joy-filled fellowship. And don't let your teens fool you, they still crave your time and attention. Your Joy-filled Heavenly Father is full of creative ideas to help you connect with your kids, all you have to do is ask!

Still Seeking His Face,

Pastor Andrew

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