17 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.
God is the source of joy
God is the source of joy
Don’t Be Worry, Be Joyful
Every Christian is to manifest all of the fruit of the Spirit, and the more we grow in grace, the further we progress in our sanctification, the more gentle we should be, the more patient we should be, the more faithful we should be, and, obviously, the more joyful we should be.
In simple terms, this means that the Christian life is not to be marked by dourness or a miserable attitude. We all have bad days, but the basic characteristic of a Christian personality is joy. Christians should be the most joyous people in the world because we have so much to be joyous about. That is why Paul does not hesitate to command his readers to rejoice.
Paul’s admonition to believers to be joyful presupposes that believers can do something if they find themselves lacking in joy. He is right, of course, and the New Testament is filled with teaching on how to be joyful. The most basic method is to focus our attention on the ground of our joy, the source of our joy.
This is a call to meditate upon the things of the Lord, to turn our attention to the things of God. When we find ourselves depressed, down, irritated, annoyed, or otherwise unhappy, we need to return to the source of our joy, and then we will see those circumstances that are sapping our joy in perspective. The circumstances of this life will pale into insignificance when compared to that which we have received from God.
When I have things in perspective, I know that if I never experienced another blessing in my entire life other than the blessings I already have received from the hand of God, I would have no possible reason to be anything but overflowing with joy until the day I die. God has already given me so much to be thankful for, so much to provoke my soul to delight, gladness, and joy, that I should be able to live on the basis of that surplus of blessedness and remain joyful all of my days.
Of course, the good news is that God will not stop manifesting His care and giving us His tender mercies and blessings. He continues to do that, and that means that every day we live as Christians we have more reason to rejoice than we had the day before. We have spent one more day receiving His love and all the benefits that He pours out on us, all those things that make us joyful.