The Lord your God is living among you; He is a mighty Savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. —Zephaniah 3:17
This verse describes the heart of Jesus bursting with divine celebration…over you, if you know Him as your Savior.
Of this verse, author Steve Fry explains in his book I Am: The Unveiling of God: “God’s joy knows no bounds…the word ‘joy’ here is a pretty animated word. In the Hebrew, it literally means: to become excited to the point of dancing in a whirlwind…He gets so excited about you and me that He exhibits the kind of joy that can only be captured in the imagery of a whirling dance.”
Does that not take your breath away? To know that you are the recipient of such divine passion and joy? Jesus is your joy and, you are His joy!
If you are a Christ follower, Jude 1:24 assures us that there is coming a day when Jesus will “present you faultless before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exaltation (with unspeakable, ecstatic delight).
When you are finally in the physical presence of Jesus, He will be filled with ecstasy…rapturous delight, overpowering exaltation, intense feeling! Did you know that He longs for that day? In John 17, He expresses His heart to God the Father when He prayed, ” I desire that they…may be with Me where I am, to see My glory.”
In the original language, the word for this type of joy means: “exceeding joy, exultation, extreme joy…to leap.”
This is joy getting physical. This is the joy that Jesus exhibits over you.
And He wants you to have and experience that very same joy!
Jesus Himself said that it is His desire “that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11). Jesus wants you to be filled to the brim with joy, to be thoroughly permeated and saturated with His very own joy!
The closer you are to Him, the deeper your joy.
How do you get closer to Him? Read His love letter to you, which is the Bible. The more you know His Word, the easier it will be for you to recognize His Voice. See His extraordinary artistic creativity in the beauty of the world around you. Observe His attentive care for your physical needs. Revel in the tender healing touch He brings to your heart as you begin to apply His precious promises to the places that hurt the most. Live in gratitude for all the blessings you have been given, no matter how small. Listen to the pure joy in the laughter of a child.
This day—and every day—you are invited into the joy of Jesus.
We see this clearly in Zephaniah 3. In verse 14, we are encouraged to sing aloud and rejoice and exult with all our hearts to our God. Then in v. 17, we see Jesus doing the same over us! It is a beautiful give-and-take…you enjoying Jesus and Jesus enjoying you! Bliss!
One morning last week, I awoke with worries threatening to overwhelm my mind. As I opened my Bible for my devotions, I was led to verse after verse about Jesus’ exultant joy over us. Then, I read about that same joy in the book I am currently reading. And finally, I heard Beth Moore speak about His joy for us as I listened to one of her DVDs. At that point, it finally dawned on me that Jesus was trying to get my attention! He was encouraging me to see past the cares of this world and take a concentrated look into His delightful heart where Peace and Joy reign.
He was inviting me to fully enter into His joy that was mine for the taking.
I accepted…and a day that had begun gray and cloudy became radiant with the bright colors of joy and hope.
And today, He extends that same invitation to you.
Will you accept?
“The threefold joy of the Lord (is): His joy in ransoming us, His joy dwelling within us as our Savior and His joy in possessing us, as His bride and His delight; it is the consciousness of this joy which is our real strength. Our joy in Him may be a flucuating thing; His joy in us knows no change.”–James Hudson Taylor
(If you are interested in checking out the Scripture references where this kind of joy (agalliao) is mentioned, you can find them at the following addresses: Matthew 5:12, Luke 1:47, Luke 10:21, John 5:35, John 8:56, Acts 2:26, Acts 16:34, I Peter 1:6,8, I Peter 4:13, Revelation 19:7)