“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.” (Matthew 2:10)
They rejoiced exceedingly with great joy! I love this! That sentence is almost grammatically humorous! This over-the-top joy is what the wise men experienced when they saw a star that was pointing them to Jesus, the newborn King and Messiah. This baby was clearly different and capable of creating joy in them. Not just any joy, but apparently a great joy that made them rejoice exceedingly!
This is convicting to me, and I can imagine that it may be convicting to you as well. How often I find myself being a bump on a log or a downer! Why?!?! Do you ever find yourself dealing with sadness, depression, or just a “blah” type of attitude? I’m not sure how you feel, but I want to experience what the wise men experienced. I don’t want to just rejoice. I want to rejoice exceedingly with great joy! In fact, I believe the Bible teaches that Christians should live in this joyous state rather than the sad, down state that we often find ourselves in.
I know, this all sounds great, but how do we actually find great joy? How do we break the cycle of being the sad, “blah” Christians? It might sound simple, and I am writing to myself here, but we must look to the only place that offers this joy. Wanting this joy, while looking for it in things that do not offer it, clearly gets us nowhere. This would be like wanting a McDonald’s cheeseburger, but pulling into a Taco Bell drive thru to find one. It is not there! Likewise, great joy, like the wise men experienced, is only found when we look for it in the right place.
“You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
Fullness of joy. Pleasures forevermore. These, according to David, are found in one place. In God’s presence there is fullness of joy. Not just partial joy. Not just a lot of joy. No, we are talking about fullness of joy! We are talking about a joy that is filled to the brim and running over! We are talking about a joy that makes us rejoice exceedingly with great joy! If we want this joy, then, we must look for it in God. We must quit waiting for other things to bring it. We must quit trying to find joy in life. We must quit trying to find joy in people or circumstances. Psalm 16:11 is clear: the solution to our lack of joy is the fullness of joy that we find in God.
At the right hand of God there are pleasures forevermore. Have you ever thought about that? We search for pleasure about as often as we breathe. Again, David shows us that what we are really searching for is found in God. Our pleasure in God is the only pleasure that satisfies us. Taking our ultimate pleasure in God leads us to a deep, overflowing joy! Trying to find it in other things keeps us searching and empty. It sounds simple, and it really is, but in order to break our lack of joy, we need to find it in the right place…God!
Our lack of joy keeps us from giving God our best. Our lack of joy radiates a shallow, unworthy God to the world around us. Also, our lack of joy simply keeps us sad. So finding fullness of joy in God is a win-win. Our mood is lifted as we rejoice with a great joy. We also portrait a Christian life that shows the world how good the God we serve is. We show the world that what they are searching for is found in God. Our joy, if found in God, will be so different that it will almost look silly. Wise men rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. That sentence is over-the-top. Let’s turn our frowns upside down and live a life of joy that is also over-the-top!
- Would you say that you are you experiencing fullness of joy?
- How do you plan on finding your joy in God, rather than other things?