Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.
The Joy of Witnessing
For me, there are few things more joyful than that of soul winning. I mean can anything really compare with participating in someone being saved? Jesus says that there is joy in heaven even when one sinner repents (Luke 15:7, 10). Shouldn’t that give us joy? I feel so much exhilaration when I am able to participate in someone being saved. Even when they reject the message, I know it’s not up to me to save them since salvation is from God. Maybe someone will come along and water the message; maybe someone fertilizes it later. However, the harvest is up to God, and I may never see the fruit. There is also great joy in obeying the Great Commission (Matt. 28:19-20; Acts 1:8), and if you feel joy in this and heaven feels joy over this, this must glorify God.
The Joy of Overcoming
We know that the will of God is our growing in holiness–sometimes called sanctification–and abstaining from any kind of sexual immorality (1 Thess. 4:3-4). So when Christians overcome a major sin, resist a powerful temptation, or help others do the same, there is true joy found in this. It is exhilarating knowing that you are being obedient to God’s command to be holy as He is holy (1 Pet. 1:16), although He doesn’t expect perfection. That was accomplished by Christ’s atonement for our sake at the cross (2 Cor. 5:21). Even our generosity pleases God because it is the will of God, and doing the will of God always glorifies God (1 Cor. 9:12-14). If you can find things in the Bible where you can both feel exhilaration and glorify God, that’s as good as it gets!
The Joy of Serving
When we serve, we should always learn to deflect any praise that comes our way to God, for the Holy Spirit is the only reason we do any good. It is never a good thing to accept compliments because you are the source. We can show a gracious attitude and say thank you, but we must remember that any good we do is because our good God enables us to do it. Therefore, He must receive the glory, for He is never going to allow His glory to be shared with humans (Isaiah 48:11). When you read the Bible, search the Scriptures for things in life that will exhilarate you and will also glorify God. Focus on them. Write them down or journal them when you find them. Then find the joy of the Lord in serving, overcoming sin, growing in sanctification, and in proclaiming the Gospel to the lost, for there is no greater joy than to find what exhilarates you but also glorifies God. It doesn’t get much better than that.
A Closing Prayer
Heavenly Father, oh Holy God, thank You for allowing me to feel the joy of witnessing for Christ, the joy of serving one another and being served, and also the joy of resisting temptation and overcoming sin in my desire to grow more holy, as You are already perfectly holy. In Jesus’ name I pray.
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