It is the Psalmist who writes, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness, therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.”
Now we have to confess that we don’t naturally associate righteousness and holiness with gladness or joy. Somehow we make righteousness and holiness out to be some kind of obligation or burden, something that is joyless and rigid and unpleasant. in fact we can’t even imagine God being joyful.
The reason for this is that the world tells us that the greatest thrills and moments of joy in life are in fact to be found in indulging impurity. It’s the chasing after the sinful polluted desires of the heart that will give us joy and satisfaction – but is this really true? Is it not these impure indulgences that bring guilt, heartache, brokenness and a lack of satisfaction.
No leper refuses the opportunity to be cleansed from their disease of oozing sores and pain, yet many cling to their guilt-inducing pleasures their needless baggage of sin knowing, there is a joy infinitely greater than any earthly delights can offer.
Oh to resist holiness is to forfeit true joy and to settle for something far less. Friend, the sinful pleasures of life will ultimately rob you of what is truly beautiful and desirable.
The child of God finds great delight and fulfilment when walking in oneness with God. It’s there that we relish His presence, rejoice in His mercy, and experience the freedom and beauty of having pure hearts, and a clear conscience, and the joy of standing before Him unashamed.
True joy belongs to God, and to the child of God who loves righteousness and who hates wickedness.
This true Joy is made available to all who surrender their lives to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
Dirk Coetzee – Pastor, Grahamstown Baptist Church