Forthright Magazine

The joy of being a child of God

There are times in our lives when we rightly need to turn to God to praise him and give thanks for what he has done for us. Isaiah wrote about a time that was coming when Israel would do this. In fact, what he wrote sounds very much like a psalm, containing both praise and thanksgiving.

“You will say on that day: ‘I will give thanks to you, O Lord, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, and you comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and will not be afraid, for the Lord is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.’ With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:1-3 NRSVUE)

What would cause this outpouring of thankfulness from God’s people? The previous chapter ended with the ‘root of Jesse’ coming and God recovering his people from the nations. What Isaiah talked about in chapter 11 and on into this chapter seems to be Messianic in content. When God provided a way for his people to return to him through the Messiah it would be a time of thanksgiving.

When God turns his anger away from us and our sins are washed away we can rejoice that God is our salvation. Because of Jesus we are forgiven. There is no need to be afraid because God is our strength.

Being saved – being ‘safe’ from our past sins – is spoken of throughout scripture as something that is joyful. In fact, being a child of God should bring joy to our lives. Serving God should bring us joy. Being a Christian is a joyful experience! Why? Because we get to draw water from the wells of salvation. Because of Jesus we have everything we need to live faithful lives to God.

“And you will say on that day: ‘Give thanks to the Lord; call on his name; make known his deeds among the nations; proclaim that his name is exalted. Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth. Shout aloud and sing for joy, O royal Zion, for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.’” (Isaiah 12:4-6)

Sometimes I wonder if we truly comprehend all we have in Jesus and what that means for us. Because of Jesus we should be living lives of thankfulness. We should be letting people around us know what God has done for us and is doing in our lives. We should be praising him in all that we do.

We sing praise to God because of this. Aren’t you thankful for those who have written the words we sing that express the sentiments of our hearts in a way to praise God for Jesus and for all that he does for us? This is why we need to be letting everyone know about the God we serve. We need to be telling others the good news of Jesus! There is something about good news that we just can’t keep to ourselves – we need to tell others so they, too, can share in our joy.

We can be joyful because in our midst is the Holy One of Israel. God lives in us and he lives among us. As Peter expressed it:

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10)

When we reflect on all that we have because of God, how can we not be joyful?

Photo by Bekka Mongau from Free for use.

Readings for next week: Isaiah 10-21


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