On Monday I wrote that my special word for 2012 is joy. Wouldn’t ya know it—that word pops up nearly every time I open my Bible now.
I love it when God crystallizes the lessons He wants me to learn. And I enjoy processing those lessons by blogging about them. Writing about the nuggets He gives causes me to slow down and ponder, not merely skim and rush off likely forgetting everything I just read.
Because my word is joy, be prepared for lots of ponderings on that theme. This week, for instance, I realized my focus on joy revolves mostly around me: What brings me joy? What does God say brings joy? Am I prepared to learn joy in the hard places of life? But then I read a New Testament story that caused me to think about joy in a different light.
The story concerns Jesus’ baptism. The Scripture says, “After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy’” (Matthew 3:16,17).
I linger on the words who brings me great joy. They captivate me as I think about their meaning. Imagine—Alpha and Omega, King of the universe, Creator of everything seen and unseen, the great I AM—experiencing joy, too. What was the source? Jesus, His only Son.
As a mother of three, I can relate to His feelings. Precious little brings me as much joy as my kids and grandkids—especially when we’re together sharing meals, playing games, enjoying good conversation—and knowing that they’re doing well in every way. Perhaps you can relate.
Now imagine the God of heaven experiencing similar joy. Why? Because we’re His children. Imagine Him smiling on us, taking pleasure in us, expressing delight in us. The thought warms my heart. So does Zephaniah 3:16,17—“Don’t be afraid! For the Lord God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
What brings God joy? We do. Let’s resolve to keep it that way. Let’s live in such a way that we bring a smile to His face and a song to His heart.
I haven’t been able to stop by in a while, but I’m always so amazed when I do! It seems like every time I come here, you’re talking about exactly what’s going on in my life at that moment.
I also chose two words for 2012: love, and joy. 🙂 I’m really beginning to think God had me “meet” you for a reason.
Thank you so much for writing and for your thoughts on joy!
Yes, Elizabeth — our meeting is not a coincidence. Sounds like we’re on a parallel path, my friend!
What is the ‘joy of the Lord! I also look at the verse this way; when we are strong, it brings joy to Him. —The joy of the Lord— what is it? ” My strength”. Bear the infirmity of the weak. After all, the strength we have is His and it brings Him joy when we exercise it. (A new thought)
Amen to that thought, Vierene. The joy of the Lord, I think, is a settled assurance that everything’s going to be okay because God is in control. We can’t work it up; it comes from a sweet and ever-growing relationship with Him.
I was just thinking today how we humans are constantly asking the Lord to bring us happiness.It made me feel pretty bad and really self centered.Then i typed in What Brings God Joy and read your post.It was. just what i needed to hear.Thanks so much for sharing your spirit with us all. God Bless !!
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I love how the Lord gives us exactly what we need to hear at exactly the right moment. Blessings to you too!
Thanks for you post Grace it’s just what I needed to hear!
I have been reading Nehemiah and came to chapter 8 verse 10 where God tells the Israelites not to weep but go celebrate because the “Joy of the Lord is your strength.” And I started thinking what gives God joy?? I was headt down the lines of what I do/day/worship etc then decided to google it and your blog came up. I literally burst into tears as I started reading and have a deep sense of Gods joy in
me, just me!
Thanks again and keep writing!
Hi Emily. I love hearing stories like yours — how the Holy Spirit takes over and directs our thoughts like He did yours. I’m so humbled and blessed to know that this blog touched your heart and gave you what you needed to hear. Indeed God rejoices in you, my friend. Know you are loved.