(Friends: Most Saturdays for the duration of this year, I plan on sharing a message that relates to the character and nature of God, and our response thereunto. I hope you will find it helpful, and as always, thanks for allowing us to send the devotionals to you. Glen).
The Saturday Series - 42
"The Glad God"
Our view of God must include the truth of His indescribably glad nature.
"In Thy presence is fullness of joy. At Thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).
We must perceive God in terms of the Psalmist's affirmation, especially in light of the Bible's accounting of our Lord's displeasure regarding the current state of creation. Things are not as He would have them to be because of sin and its consequences. This is especially true regarding human hearts, many of which give Him no regard at all, and others that presently know Him in far more limited experience than He desires. The Bible's declaration of God's discontent with things as presently constituted must be interpreted in light of its plainly stated description of He in whom the trusting heart finds "joy unspeakable and full of glory" even though we cannot see or hear Him (I Peter 1:8). Our Lord's sorrow does not preclude the truth that He exists as the very essence of joy, to the extent that only in Him are found "fullness of joy" and "pleasures forevermore."
Among many reasons for our Lord's displeasure is the fact of our own. A God of pure and exhilarating joy cannot by definition be pleased when sorrow pervades the hearts He made. Thus, He reveals Himself and His truth by His Word, His Spirit, His people, and His involved presence in creation. He offers salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ and the joy of His redeeming grace. "Rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice" commands the Apostle Paul, revealing the God who desires "to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness" (Isaiah 61:3). Our Heavenly Father's pleasure coincides with our own and He will not be content until His trusting children in Christ all experience complete deliverance from sorrow, and complete entrance "into the joy of thy Lord" (Matthew 25:21).
Perceiving God rightly and accurately understanding His truth requires our awareness of His glad nature. "Thou hast made known to me the ways of life. Thou shalt make me full of joy with Thy countenance" (Acts 2:28). The degree to which we know His joy determines the experience of our own capacity for a glad heart. Amid the challenges and pains of our present existence, we can know through Christ the wonder of being "sorrowful, yet always rejoicing" (II Corinthians 6:10). One day we will know undisturbed and unmitigated gladness in the presence of the glad God. For now, we often see Him through tears. The vision nevertheless graces us with the capacity to rejoice in the very midst of sorrow. This reveals the power of joy, that is, of our Lord's joyous being and nature as the glad God, and the God who alone can make us His glad children.
"O send out Thy light and Thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto Thy holy hill, and to Thy tabernacles. Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy."
"Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation."
Weekly Memory Verse
Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.