What is the difference between joy and happiness? The two are different emotions that are somewhat similar but very different. Happiness is triggered by things going on around us. Joy on the other hand is attributed to something very consistent and internal. So, what is the cause of our great joy?
So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all you whose hearts are pure! Psalm 32:11
David, the author of this Psalm says to rejoice and be glad in the Lord, shout for joy! Why? Fortunately, he answered that question in the 10 verses before this statement. In verse 5, David revealed a confession that he made.
Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. Psalm 32:5
Did you ever need to get something off your chest because of something you said or did to someone else? It developed a pit in your stomach that was bothering you to no end. You couldn’t wait to get to that person to clear things up.
Once you did, you felt better about yourself and that your relationship with the other person was mended. That’s what happens when we go to the Lord asking His forgiveness only at a much greater scale. Look what David said in verses 1 and 2.
Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! Psalm 32:1-2
The Cause for a Lack of Great Joy
I’ve talked with people who have told me that they will come to the Lord after they straighten up their lives. I guess they feel that God won’t accept them the way they are. But people with that type of thinking have it backward.
God wants us to come to Him the way we are. He wants us to be true to Him and true to ourselves. We do that by laying all of our shortcomings before Him. He will forgive us and put those sins out of His sight. This gives us a chance to live our lives in complete honesty.
That my friend is a recipe for great joy. David also told us about those who refuse to go to the Lord. They might experience times of happiness, but they will be void of any inner joy.
When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. Psalm 32:3-4
Rejoice and be Glad!
God not only forgives and forgets. He not only takes a heavy burden off of our lives. He also guides and advises us.
The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” Psalm 32:8-9
A related post you will enjoy reading is called What Is The One Thing That Makes You Glad?
So, take a moment to examine your heart and your life. Are you ready to do what David did? Confess all your sins to the Lord and stop trying to hide your guilt.
Repent of your rebellion and He will forgive you. The best part is, all your guilt will be gone. This will cause you to have great joy.
Lord, today we rejoice in you and are glad. We shout for joy because you give it to us from within. Thank you for giving us hearts that are pure as we obey you.
Be inspired by reading Psalm 32.
Featured Image Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash
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