Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Why God is Happy

God is happy.

The Bible gives us ample reason to rejoice that our God is happy. For example, when Nehemiah encouraged the people of Israel, he reminded them that “the joy of the Lord” was their strength (Nehemiah 8:10).

When Jesus told the Parable of the Talents, the faithful servant heard this judgment from the master: Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master (Matthew 25:23, my emphasis). The master's joy!

Or Jesus Himself said, These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full (John 15:11). He said it again in John 17:13: But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves. His joy!

Why is God full of joy? Well, because He is God. Father, Son, and Spirit have forever been in a perfect relationship of love and friendship and joy and intimate communication. The Lord has always been and will always be happy.

That’s the greater truth about God’s happiness – He is happy because He is God. But recently I had a flash of insight about God’s nature which, in a very small way, might explain a little about His happiness. That week I bought a small gift for one of my grandchildren. Not a giant, ostentatious gift, but s simple one, to remember a special adventure the two of us had shared.

So the next Sunday in church I had the little box in my pocket during the worship service. I planned to give it to my granddaughter after the church service. When I walked up to the pulpit to pray and to preach, I was conscious of the box in my pocket.

I looked over the congregation and enjoyed seeing my church family, some of whom have been part of my life for 15 years. Seated near the front were my son and his wife and their four children.

I don’t think my granddaughter knew I had a gift for her. But I knew, and as I stood there, sharing God’s word, I had a special feeling of happiness knowing that I would be giving her a gift I thought she would enjoy, one which would remind her that her grandfather loved her and was thinking of her.

I felt that way all morning, all through the church service, and especially when I could watch her as I preached.

After church I did give it to her, and she did seem to like it. She gave me a hug. “Thank you, Papa.”

God knows all the gifts He has for all His children, and when He’s planning to give them. I think that’s part of His happiness – knowing what’s in His pockets for each of us.