How Do You View Jesus?
My personal relationship with Jesus includes a lot of joy and humor. I think that’s because so much of my life I spent thinking that Jesus was so serious. My image of Jesus was of a somber and reserved man who probably disapproved of fun, and most likely disapproved of me. If someone had told me back then that Jesus laughs, I’d have said that was preposterous!
About 3-4 years ago, I remember seeking the Lord about how to experience his love for me. Everyone kept telling me he loved me, but it was head knowledge and not heart knowledge. I was reading the Bible, worshipping, and reading a couple books about his love at the time, but I was still struggling to connect to him.
One day, he gave me a picture in my mind while I was praying. In the image, Jesus was sitting on a bench, one ankle propped on the knee of his other leg, his arms stretched out wide on either side of the back of the bench. You know, the lounging ‘guy pose’ – you’ve seen it in the church rows, the movies, the ballgame. Totally chillaxed.
What really floored me was that Jesus’ head was tipped back and he was laughing. I don’t mean a little chuckle…he was full-on, belly laughing, having the time of his life. To say I was shocked was an understatement. Jesus laughs!?, I thought.
It started me on this new adventure of beginning to understand that Jesus delights in us. It’s unbelievable really. Can you imagine that the God of the Universe enjoys spending time in your company? He even laughs, twinkling eyes, loud guffaws, and everything, just because he loves your presence! I thought it was supposed to be the other way. But it turns out, it’s a two-way street.
The Giver of Joy
How could we receive joy from God if he was not already filled with joy? He’s the original Joyful One!
The Bible says in John 15:11: “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (NLT)
As you can see in the verse, our joy bubbles up from his overflowing joy!
In fact, he takes great delight in us and sings over us…loudly and with joyful exuberance! I’m thinking it’s karaoke style, and possibly a bit off-key because Jesus is belting it out at the top of his lungs. After that, I’m sure, Jesus laughs out loud with us!
“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 3:17 (ESV)
Then there is Psalm 149:4 where it says plainly that he delights in us. “For the Lord delights in his people; he crowns the humble with victory.” (NLT)
Head or Heart?
My question for you today is this: Is your knowledge of Jesus’ love for you head knowledge or heart knowledge? If you want more heart knowledge of how he loves you and delights in you, ask for it! He is so happy to pour it out on you. If you struggle to believe that Jesus wants to give you good gifts, especially joy, you can read a blog I wrote just about that topic!
Pray With Me
Pray this with me, because we all need a little more love and joy from Jesus, right?
“Jesus, today I want to experience joy and love that comes straight from you. Please help me to feel your love, delight, and joy over me. Take me deeper in my relationship with you and in our quiet space, our secret place.
Smash the boxes I’ve placed you in, and blow my mind with how gracious you are, how funny, how holy. And Lord, I ask that you give me a supernatural memory for my encounters with you. I don’t want one of your words to fall to the ground. Like precious stones, let me place all of my experiences with you in a treasure chest and keep them safe in my heart.
Then if the night gets especially dark, help me to return to the treasure box. There we can sit together, pulling out each one, reliving the beautiful memories. I’ll be comforted again by how much you love me, what you’ve said, and how you’ve been faithful in my life. Then help me to trust that you have more, so much more for me, if I continue to seek you with my whole heart. I love you, Jesus.”
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