After everything that has happened to bring salvation to the world, it is no wonder that God commands us to be joyful! A great thing has happened, and to be anything less than joyful would rob it of its glory.

Even before Jesus' birth, we find many examples in the Old Testament where God commands his people to have joy. In Deuteronomy 28, before God reviews his covenant with Israel once again, He explains the seriousness of being joyful. It sounds like an oxymoron, right? Well, God was very serious when He gave the command: "If you do not serve the Lord your God with joy and enthusiasm for the abundant benefits you have received, you will serve your enemies whom the Lord will send against you" (Deuteronomy 28:47-48, NLT).

Contrary to the Israelites who only had the promise of a Saviour, we have seen the promise fulfilled. How much more would God expect us to be joyful today? "Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe" (Hebrews 12:28, NLT). Note that we find our joy in God's unshakable Kingdom. It is not reliant on our ever-changing circumstances.

God commands joy in the lives of his children for many reasons. Joy acknowledges God's sovereignty when the world wants to steal it. Joy is a testimony of trust in God when circumstances are uncertain. Joy proclaims salvation from sin in a world where people suffer the results of evil.

Do you believe that God commands us to be joyful?

How would it change your attitude about everyday life if you knew that God is pleased by joy?

Let us serve God by bringing joy to the world around us! "Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NLT).

Scripture reading:

Deuteronomy 28:47-48

Hebrews 12:28

1 Thessalonians 5:18