Joy is the Consequence
14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter of Jerusalem!
15 The Lord has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the Lord, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
16 On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
“Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
17 The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:14-17 (ESV)
The byproduct of reconciliation with God is joy. Joy is the overwhelming sense of pleasure we experience in God's presence. When we are with Him it positively affects our physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. We feel deeply rooted and secure in his love for us. That experience produces a permanence of delight.
God desires relationship with us. When we walk away from him, His judgement is intended to bring us to a place of willing reconciliation. He provides a path to make this possible. When the moment arrives that we finally travel that path to Him, our hearts are full of joy and relief from our self-inflicted exile. We will once again be in intimate relationship with the God who loves us! The gap has been bridged. A lightness comes over our senses, thoughts and motives liberated, to know that we can once again walk with God.
But it does not end there. Perhaps the most beautiful part of this process is that God himself shares our delight. He rejoices in our return. Joy is not just produced in the forgiven, but also in the Forgiver. In this we discover that he loves us first and loves us most. To ponder this thought can leave us speechless. He quiets us by his love, overwhelming our words. We find ourselves struck in awe and wonder that the Almighty, Creator and Sustainer of the universe, is also the lover of our souls.
How does it feel to be loved by God?
God, your love for me overwhelms my senses. Thank you for making a way for me to be reconciled to you. Thank you for forgiving me bringing me into an intimate relationship with you. Though I cannot fathom your love for me, let me explore it's depths and know your delight. Help me to remember that I am not the only one who takes pleasure in our relationship. Let me live in the shadow of your gladness and rejoicing.