An Unshakably Happy God

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)

God is absolutely sovereign.

“Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases” (Psalm 115:3).

Therefore, he is not frustrated. He rejoices in all his works when he contemplates them as colors of the magnificent mosaic of redemptive history. He is an unshakably happy God.

His happiness is foundationally the delight he has in himself. Before creation, he rejoiced in the image of his glory in the person of his Son — his beloved Son in whom he was well pleased (Matthew 3:17). Then the joy of God “went public” in the works of creation and redemption.

These works delight the heart of God because they reflect his glory. The heavens are telling the glory of God (Psalm 19:1). “May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in his works” (Psalm 104:31). He does everything he does to preserve and display that glory, for in this his soul rejoices.

All the works of God culminate in the praises of his redeemed people. “Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness!” (Psalm 150:2). The climax of his happiness is the delight he takes in the echoes of his excellence in the praises of the saints. “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love” (Psalm 147:10–11).

But our praise is not only God’s delight, as an echo of his excellence; it is also the apex of our joy. Praise is the consummation of the joy we have in seeing and savoring the greatness of God.

Therefore, God’s pursuit of praise from us and our pursuit of pleasure in him are the same pursuit. This is the great outcome of the gospel of the glory of the grace of God in Christ!