“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
— Psalm 16:11
Do you know something that grieves me? I grieve that the world has believed the lie that God is mean and narrow, a killjoy who thwarts our happiness. And even more tragic is that many Christians have succumbed to this lie. Many walk around with sad countenances and sorrowful attitudes. What picture of Christianity does this present to the world?
Have you believed the lie? Do you worry about having “too much fun,” afraid that if you enjoy yourself God will swoop down and zap you? Nothing could be further from the truth.
God originally planned for our lives to be full of joy and free from sorrow. In the beginning, God created a man and a woman, and He placed them in … the garden of sorrows? … the garden of misery? No. He placed them in the Garden of Eden. “Eden” is a Hebrew word transliterated as “a garden of delight, a garden of pleasure.” At the beginning of His plan for us, God created a garden of delight and pleasure. He put Adam and Eve there so that humankind might share His joy.
Though humankind disobeyed God, bringing sin and sorrow into the world, God didn’t give up on His plan. Instead, He gave us Jesus so that we might have another chance to live joyfully. Through His life, Jesus showed us the meaning of joy. While the Bible never says that Jesus laughed, we can safely surmise that He did. Furthermore, Jesus wept in our place because He took on our sin and our guilt, and His sorrow became our joy. The shortest verse in the Bible is “Jesus wept.” The second-shortest is “Rejoice evermore.” Rejoice evermore. Jesus wept on our behalf so that we might experience His joy, the joy that God bestows on us. Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).
Through His sacrifice, Jesus has made joy available to all the world. Can the people around you see Christ’s joy in you? If they do, they’ll want some of it. So allow God to instill a joyful attitude in you, whatever the challenges you face.