Nuggets from “An Urgent Call to a Serious Faith” by Dave Hunt – Fullness of Joy
God is a God of joy. To be in His presence is to be supremely happy. Jesus welcomes to heaven His faithful followers with these words: “Enter thou into the joy of the Lord” (Matthew:25:21,23). Joy eternal? David knew it: “In thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Psalm:16:11). We begin to know that joy even now in this life as we give ourselves totally into His hands and rest in His love, trusting Him completely. That is when we begin to experience with wonder, “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah:8:10).
A favorite hymn begins, “There’s joy in following Jesus, every moment of every day.” Great joy for us and for Him: ‘He will rejoice over thee with joy…he will joy over thee with singing” (Zephaniah:3:17). Even the prophets who pronounced doom upon the disobedient knew this joy in their own hearts and lives: “I will joy in the God of my salvation” (Habakkuk:3:18). The closer to God we walk in holiness, the greater our joy: “and let the saints shout for joy” (Psalm:143:9). As the hymn writer put it, “When God is near my heart is filled with ecstasy, and all the world’s a paradise when God is near.”
Then “let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews:10:22). He has opened the way for this intimate fellowship with the shedding of His blood for our sins – but our hearts must respond. As the bumper sticker used to say, “If God seems far away, guess who moved?”
Though the circumstances of this brief life on earth may have worsened, God has not changed. Our earthly condition, no matter how difficult, is temporary and will soon be past – but our heavenly home is eternal and remains secure. That hope brings present joy: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Romans:15:13). Yes, in “believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter:1:8) – a joy that makes us strong enough to live above our circumstances and to demonstrate to all who observe us that God is good and that we are in His hands.
There is much talk about “spiritual warfare” these days, and it often involves much error and extremism. So many Christians spend time “rebuking” demons, time that would be much better spent in praising God. Instead of focusing so much attention upon Satan and giving him so much credit, let us give thanks that “greater he that is in [us] than he that is in the world” (1 John:4:4). Here is victory: in thanksgiving, praise, and joy!