“We also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (Romans 5:11).
Perhaps nowhere outside of Scripture has Christian joy been expressed more beautifully than in these stanzas from Charles Wesley’s hymn:
“O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing”:
O for a thousand tongues to sing My great Redeemer’s praise, The glories of my God and King, The triumphs of His grace!
Hear Him, ye deaf; His praise, ye dumb, Your loosened tongues employ; Ye blind, behold your Savior come; And leap, ye lame for joy!
Galatians 5:22 says that “joy” is one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit, and as such it is one of the great securities of salvation. The Greek for “joy” means “to exult,” “to rejoice jubilantly,” or “to be thrilled.” What is our motivation to be so thrilled? Paul says it’s because we received reconciliation from Christ. God gives us abundant joy both in our salvation and ultimately for who God is. Thus our present sense of internal joy is an additional guarantee of our future salvation.
One of the reasons David was a man after God’s own heart was his rejoicing in the Lord for the Lord’s own sake. He said, “O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together” (Ps. 34:3). Other psalmists echoed that same joy. One wrote, “For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy name” (Ps. 33:21), while another said, “Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and upon the lyre I shall praise Thee, O God, my God” (Ps. 43:4). As you make God the focus of your joy, He will grant you an assurance only He can give.
From Strength for Today by John MacArthur Copyright © 1997.