The Power of Joy

Without joy it is impossible
To endure life
Who would dare take life
With all of its pains and toils
Without the smile of the heart

With joy comes strength
To withstand life’s pressures
To take the unimaginable
To pursue the unreachable
To attain the impossible

Joy taken away dries the bones
And brings the soul to sickness
Makes all efforts futile and useless
Dreams are taken away
Aspirations burned into ashes

Give me joy, oh world
Replenish my strength
I desire for new power
I want a new level of strength

But with the test of time
I have come to realise
There is no real joy in the world
The world could only give happiness
But no real joy

Only from above joy is possible
For He is the giver of life
And the only one who sustains it
I will drink His fountain again
Replenish the joy in my heart
And be powerful again

The Delight of Teaching God’s Word

English: ESV Study Bible Hardcover Cover
ESV Study Bible – the Study Bible I often use when studying the Bible.

Teaching the Word of God is truly a delight. It is one of the few things in life that truly brings pleasure to my soul.

Teaching requires that we study the teaching material first. In the endeavor to teach the Bible, in any form, in preaching, Bible Study, evangelism, or others, studying it first gluttons my heart to high spiritualities. It is one of the wonders any Bible teacher experiences from time to time. It is in fact listening to God.

A true teacher of the Scriptures will do his or her best to live out what he or she is preparing to teach. This, again, fulfills the deepest longings of the soul. Any true obedient disciple of Christ knows that trying to live in the perfect will of God is one sure thing to live a meaningful, fulfilled life. It is the highest achievement any human can achieve.

Then comes the blessed task of teaching it. If we have tried our best to study and live the Message, then the act of teaching is really in a sense a completed task. It has its own duties, but once we have tried to study and live the Word, then we can be assured that God will bless also our work of teaching to others what we have experienced ourselves.

Battle for Pleasure

John Piper (theologian)
John Piper tells us: “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.”

Everyday life is a battle for Pleasure. It is either we get satisfied in God, or in anything else.

When former pastor and writer John Piper released his book Desiring God, which aims to show the Church that the basic duty of man is to delight in God, he got numerous criticisms from fellow Christians around the world. The most prevalent teaching is that when we love and seek God, we should not be thinking of benefiting ourselves but rather do it sacrificial all for the sake of its own virtue, and for the Glory of God. But for Piper it is different. He sees Scriptures commanding us that at the center of God’s plan is ‘Glorifying Himself by getting people satisfied in Him.’

After much meditation, I agree with Piper. Truly, every moment of each day we find ourselves battling to get ourselves being happy and joyful and satisfied with whatever or whoever we find pleasurable in life. It is either we  glut  on God, or in anything else. And that ‘anything else’ may well include, money, relationships, or sinful acts.

What does the Bible really say then? Is it really wrong to have self-delight as everyday, moment-by-moment duty?

(Ps 16:11) Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

This verse would simply mean that God is leading us to a true kind of life – one that is joyful in His presence.

(Phil 4:4) Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Here Paul exhorts us to rejoice in the Lord always.

There are still many Scriptures that could be said, but I would like to focus now on one thing: God’s determination to Glorify Himself by having people getting satisfied in Him.

Here is a key Scripture passage:

(Jer 2:1) Moreover the word of the LORD came to me, saying,

(Jer 2:11) Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit.

(Jer 2:12) Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the LORD.

(Jer 2:13) For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

The Lord here is speaking, telling Israel her many sins. And on verses 11-13 He nails the point: Israel has forsaken their glory, the God of Israel to many things that does not profit them. Instead of choosing God as the only source of their satisfaction and sustenance, they have chosen other things, like other gods for their objects of pleasure.

Here it is also interesting to note that God sees sins as having pleasure other than in God, and we know that sins are all acts that try to trample on God’s Glory. Thus, Scripture Logic tells us that being satisfied in God brings Glory to God.