Even as Jesus experienced pain, grief, loneliness, and joy, His heavenly Father also experiences emotion. His joy in us is clearly recorded in His Word. It brings excitement, knowing He takes joy in our being. Wow!
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
A smiling God
We can’t help smiling or laughing over someone else’s happiness. Nor while watching puppies play. Like us humans, all animals experience and show their pain and grief—and their joy.
We animals, human or otherwise, aren’t the only ones who experience such emotions. Because we’re made in God’s image, according to Genesis 1:26, we know that He also feels emotions. The Bible is filled with references about God’s grief, dismay, and anger. It also contains stories of His joy. Zephaniah 3:17 says: “The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
Joy is contagious. Imagine God smiling over us! Not only is He pleased, but joyful, because of His great love for us. Our goal should be to cause Him to smile over our love-filled thoughts, words, and actions on His behalf. We can’t accomplish such a goal, however, unless we have a deep, personal relationship with Him. Sort of like children have with their parents. The more we want to please our heavenly Father, the more He will smile on us.
Our relationship, therefore, requires a few basic, Biblical truths. Through prayer, the power of the Holy Spirit, and our willingness, we must become obedient to God’s Word no matter the circumstances around us. Think about Noah when he built the ark. Though he was the only righteous, God-loving, and God-fearing person on earth, surrounded by ever-increasing evil, he remained obedient to God’s command to build the outrageously huge boat.
While Noah built the ark, he also preached God’s love and salvation. If anyone finds it hard to believe that such a loving God would destroy the whole earth, remember that God waited more than 100 years for people to repent, as Noah hammered away at their hearts.
God smiled on Noah because of his obedience and trust during a stressful, dangerous time. Noah used his God-given abilities for the purpose of pleasing Him. Because of his closeness to God, perhaps Noah even enjoyed preaching, building, and thanking Him for the opportunity. Because of his closeness to God, Noah kept a positive outlook, knowing that if his emotions turned sour over the futility of his job, God would keep filling him with joy. Pleasing God must have made Noah smile.
Lord, give us the heart-attitude of Noah. We want to please You, to cause You to smile. Help us to be obedient to Your Word, to be thankful in all things, and to use the abilities You’ve lovingly given us. In Jesus’ name, amen.