Echoes From the Campfire

Take things as they come and stay cheerful.”
              –Elmer Kelton  (The Day the Cowboys Quit)

    “I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of my heart I have willingly offered all these things; and now with joy I have seen Your people, who are present here to offer willingly to You.”
              –1 Chronicles 29:17 (NKJV)
Interesting how a person can look at something several times and it not see it.  I always like to teach a course, “Knowing God.”  If it is the first time I teach in a new church that is what I start with.  Often when I have a new class coming in, that is what I teach on.  There are many reasons for it, one is that few in the church, especially new converts, but I have even found it among old also, really contemplate God.  We can never learn enough about Him, and we can never exhaust of learning of Him.  Another reason is that it exhilarates my soul.  When I think of God, dwell upon Him, all I can say is a resounding “WOW!!!…”
    Last week I was doing my morning devotions and a thought struck home.  When I teach of God, I teach that He is complete.  His omnipotence never ends; He is infinite; there is no limit to His omniscience, and on.  God is limitless.  God is love.  Now here is where I stopped in my teaching and where I was hit with the devotion.  God is peace, God is wrath, God is just, God is…and the devotion was about joy.  God is full of joy!  He has infinite joy!
    When he looks at His creation it brings Him joy.  It brings satisfaction.  Stay with me, sure He was “disappointed” that man sinned, but He also knew that he would, and He had a plan.  There would be joy in the salvation of mankind.  See, God is so infinite in all His attributes–natural and moral–that He can be understood only partially.  Part of our purpose, perhaps our main purpose here on earth, is to come to know Him better.
    All of us, believers and nonbelievers, have experienced some of the joy of the Lord.  The breath we breathe is a gift from the Father and hopefully you find it joyful to be breathing in and out.  Have you ever stood on a precipice looking out over a vista, say the Grand Canyon?  Do you find beauty, do you find joy?  So does the heavenly Father in His creation of it, and in the pleasure that you are currently receiving from it.
    God is infinitely good and it pleasures Him to bless His children, here on earth and in heaven.  It gives Him joy, but it does not add to His joy for His joy is infinite and complete already.  WOW!!  Because of His joy, along with other attributes He is good, but that also is an infinite attribute in itself–Goodness, God is good!  Dallas Willard said, “All  of the good and beautiful things from which we occasionally drink tiny droplets of soul-exhilarating joy, God continuously experiences in all their breadth and depth and richness.”
    No wonder our toe goes to tapping:  “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy down in my heart…!”  And it’s, “Joy unspeakable and full of glory…oh, the half has never yet been told.” (B.E. Warren)  We have amazing grace, we have amazing love, and we should be living in amazing joy.