What Would Bring Jesus Joy?

Today I read a great Valentine’s verse.  In the past two weeks, I’ve actually come across it three times, so today I’ve been meditating on it because obviously God wants me to pay attention.

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 (Zephaniah 3:17, NKJV).

I love that verse!  There’s two things that encourage me here.

His love

I love how the NKJV says “He will quiet you with His love.”  If I really think about the root cause of so much of my anxieties and worries, what keeps me tossing and turning at night—it’s because I’m not trusting in God to take care of me.  I’m not trusting enough in His love.  When my mind is noisy with anxiety and stress, His love can quiet me.  His love gives me peace.

The NIV translates this as “in his love he will no longer rebuke you,” which to me is such a powerful thought.  When I’m messing up, stressed, or worried, intermingled with those thoughts are thoughts of condemnation.  I say bad things about myself that I would never ever say –or even think–about anyone else.  I think, “You are such a mess.”  “That was so stupid.” “I can’t do any of this.”

But, Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”  No condemnation!  God’s great love for me covers over all my mistakes and I am no longer rebuked or condemned.

His Rejoicing

I clearly remember the days when we Christians all wore WWJD bracelets and there were songs, books, sermons and t-shirts asking, “What Would Jesus Do?”  It was catchy and thought-provoking.

Today, though, I’ve been asking myself a slightly different question—What Would Bring Jesus Joy?

Not as catchy, I know.  I’m not trying to sell the rights to make t-shirts or anything.  Still, the Zephaniah verse says, “He will rejoice over you with singing.”  I want Jesus to rejoice over me!

I want my actions to bring Him joy and glory so that people see Christ in me.  In my words and thoughts, I ask as the Psalmist did, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer” (Psalm 19:14, NIV).

Unfortunately, I fall short of this goal often.  I’ve read many articles and books lately saying that you can’t disappoint God.  I don’t know that I agree with that.  I think we see His disappointment when Moses tried to get out of going to Pharaoh and leading the Israelites out of Egypt.  We see His disappointment in Israel’s perpetual complaining and turning to false gods.  In the New Testament, Jesus was disappointed even in the disciples and their lack of faith and understanding.

Sometimes, He’s probably disappointed in me.  Sometimes, I don’t give Him reason to rejoice.

But, in those moments I can go back to His love.  As a parent, I always love my children, but I am sometimes disappointed in their behavior choices.   Similarly, even if God is saddened by my disobedience, or lack of trust, or my poor reactions to life’s irritations, He never stops loving me and His grace always covers me.

As Paul wrote in Romans 8:38-39:

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King

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