The Hedonist

You have made known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:11

Life.  Joy.  Pleasures.  

That’s what God wants for you.  That’s the kind of God he is.  

Not in small measure, mind you.  No, God wants you to experience life in all its richness, joy in all its fullness, pleasures in all their abundance.  

The God of the Bible, the God of all creation, the God revealed in Jesus Christ, is the happiest person in the universe, and he is out for your happiness as well.  A deep and abiding and lasting happiness, no matter the circumstances of life or the storms that assail you.  

He is the life-giving, joy-exuding, pleasure-delighting God!  He is indeed the ultimate hedonist!   God is all about joy, both his and yours.  

In his book The Life You’ve Always Wanted, pastor and writer John Ortberg wrote:  

Joy is at the heart of God’s plan for human beings.  The reason for this is worth pondering awhile:  Joy is at the heart of God himself.  We will never understand the significance of joy in human life until we understand its importance to God.  I suspect that most of us seriously underestimate God’s capacity for joy (p. 65).  

Do you see God this way?  Or have you bought into Satan’s lie that God is a cosmic Scrooge and out to get you?  Be careful of that lie.  It can ruin your life and your eternity.  

God aims to fill you with joy.  He does not seek to drip a little joy in your life or sprinkle some joy upon you.  No, he aims to flood your soul with as much joy as you can hold.  

The closer you get to God the more you experience joy, and the farther you go from God the less you experience joy.  For joy, deep and lasting joy, is found only in God himself.  

It has been well-stated:  “Joy is the surest sign of the presence of God.”  The presence of God is the presence of joy.  The absence of God is the absence of joy.  

What does this tell us about our vain pursuit of happiness in other things, in houses or cars, in money or investments, in careers or retirement, in marriage or kids, in sports or hobbies, in beauty or fitness?  Can joy be found there?  It cannot.  Only if we first find our delight in God himself can we find any real delight in the gifts of God.  

C.S. Lewis taught us:  “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from himself, because it is not there.  There is no such thing.”  

I ask you again:  Do you see your God this way?  Do you see him as the joy-delighting, joy-giving, joy-bursting God, as the one who longs to fill you with joy?  As the only source of real happiness in the universe?  

See your God!