Salvation is about knowing and delighting in God. He does not need us, but we need him to be happy in the eternal and ultimate sense. Only God himself can bring us happiness. There is only happiness in God himself, not simply in the things that He gives us (though, of course, we should enjoy all of His good gifts). What I am saying is that God is both the source and the object of our joy! Let me ask you to simply read the following verses that wonderfully express the joy to be found in God!
Psalm 43:4 Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.
Isaiah 29:19 The humble also shall increase their joy in the LORD, And the poor among men shall rejoice In the Holy One of Israel.
Habakkuk 3:18 Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
Matthew 13:44 “ Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.
Luke 10:20 “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”
John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
Acts 13:52 And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Psalm 33:21 For our heart shall rejoice in him, Because we have trusted in his holy name.
Psalm 35:9 And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD; It shall rejoice in his salvation.
Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!
I certainly realize that these verses mean so much more when studied in their context. But even a simple reading of them helps us to know that God desires his children to have joy, and that God desires his children to have that joy in him. This is not some minor truth that you should relegate to the less important aspects of being a Christian. This is something of major importance. When God is not the object of our joy, we are living a distorted form of Christianity. We are certainly not exalting God. We are saying that he does not satisfy. You can be busy “serving” God and doing “church stuff” yet all the while looking for joy in all the wrong places. In fact, you may be serving with the mindset that you are earning rewards—things that will bring you happiness. It is so urgent for us to understand that God is the perfect object of one’s joy. This truly is the goal of the gospel—knowing and enjoying God forever!