The Most Liberating Discovery
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord.
No one had ever taught me that God is glorified by our joy in him. That joy in God is the very thing that makes praise an honor to God, and not hypocrisy.
But Jonathan Edwards said it so clearly and powerfully:
God glorifies Himself toward the creatures also in two ways: 1. By appearing to…their understanding. 2. In communicating Himself to their hearts, and in their rejoicing and delighting in, and enjoying, the manifestations which He makes of Himself…God is glorified not only by His glory’s being seen, but by its being rejoiced in.This was a stunning discovery for me. I must pursue joy in God if I am to glorify him as the surpassingly valuable Reality in the universe. Joy is not a mere option alongside worship. It is an essential component of worship.
When those that see it delight in it, God is more glorified than if they only see it…He that testifies his idea of God’s glory [doesn’t] glorify God so much as he that testifies also his approbation of it and his delight in it.
We have a name for those who try to praise when they have no pleasure in the object. We call them hypocrites. This fact—that praise means consummate pleasure and that the highest end of man is to drink deeply of this pleasure—was perhaps the most liberating discovery I ever made.
No one had ever taught me that God is glorified by our joy in him.