The God Who Smiles

Although we may not think of it often, if at all, God experiences pleasure just as He does all other emotions. Although God is spirit, He never-the-less smiles through His Son Jesus Christ. Jehovah experiences pleasure, and we, along with all creation, have our existence in the purpose of His glorious pleasure.

The world likes to present God in the extremes of either consuming wrath, or jelly-like emotion. Yet, Scripture consistently presents God as glorious in His holiness, His grace, His purpose, His justice, and His salvation offered to rebellious humanity. Therefore, it is right that the LORD takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love (Psalm 147:11). When humanity bows in awe of Yahweh as being the God He reveals Himself to be, God is glorified and glad.

The writer of Hebrews reminds us of Enoch, whose faith in God had observable effects. Hebrews 11:5-6, by faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Apart from Enoch’s unique rapture-like transfer to heaven, he is remembered as a man of God pleasing faith. So it is for us, authentic, real life faith that seeks after God brings God great pleasure.

In the flurry of life, we can easily forget the passionate heart of God who predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will (Ephesians 1:5 NIV). At the time of spiritual rebirth, you became an expression of the Almighty’s wilful pleasure. The unbreakable relationship which Christ established on your behalf, was sealed, and guaranteed by the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13). The actioning of your obedient faith in Christ is how God works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). Not only do you experience pleasure from your faithful obedience, but God experiences pleasure from it also. Paul repeats the theme in Ephesians chapter 1 three times, that the working out of God’s gracious will in our lives for His pleasure, results in us being the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14). In Christ, redeemed sinners achieve that which was previously impossible, to glorify God.

I don’t think there is any human privilege greater than God considering us His friend. James 2:23 tells us that  Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness – and he was called a friend of God. It was not Abrahams religious works, but his belief in God, although faltering, that initiated God’s transfer of righteousness to him.

Once Abraham had graciously received that which he could not manufacture himself, which was righteousness, God considered him to be a friend. Romans 14:18 assures us that whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God. God testifies of Himself, that I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty (2 Corinthians 6:18). Believers are loved, valued, and secured in Christ for God’s glorifying pleasure.

When embattled in life’s struggles, it is assuring to remind ourselves from God’s Word, that in Christ we bring a smile to God. Through the dark times, God’s presence secures us and affirms the pleasure He experiences from our steadfast belief in Him.

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