The gospel is about discovering the fullness of joy
We were made for God. He is the only One who can truly satisfy us. Psalm 16:11 says that there is “fullness of joy” and “pleasures forevermore” in God’s presence. He is the “something more” everyone is longing for. Apart from Him, our hearts are continually restless.
We are restless and empty and anxious because we are looking for joy in all the wrong places. Jeremiah 2:13 offers a dramatic illustration: we have “forsaken God, the fountain of living waters, and dug out cisterns for ourselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” We have turned our backs on the abundance of God’s love and goodness and sought out empty sources of satisfaction.
Not only is this frustrating, it’s evil. To seek life and joy apart from God is not only futile; it’s idolatry. And idolatry is an insult against the glory of God. When we esteem anything else above God, we are believing a lie and embracing death. As a result, we stand guilty and condemned before God.
Although we have forsaken God; God has not forsaken us. Instead, God sent His own Son into the world in order to reconcile us to Himself (John 3:16-17). By loving God completely, Jesus Christ lived the life we have failed to live. And, through His crucifixion, Jesus died the death we deserve to die. He was condemned in our place before God (2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13). Now, through His resurrection, Jesus has made a way for us to know and enjoy God again (John 14:6).
By faith in Jesus, the Spirit gives us free access to God the Father (Ephesians 2:18; Matthew 28:19). Through confidence in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we are free from all the fear, shame, and guilt that used to lead our hearts astray. Now, we are encouraged to continually discover the full and everlasting joy that is found in the presence of God alone (Psalm 16:11; Philippians 4:4).
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