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Great Things and Joy

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

“Jehovah hath done great things for us; [and] we are joyful” (Psalm 126:3, Darby).

What “great thing” [gadal] has the Lord done for us?

Sent His Son to redeem us and to restore our eternal relationship with God, the Father, in Heaven. We, who have accepted Christ as our Lord and our Savior, have paradise laid out in front of us—a perfect place, a Home, which is “immune from decay” (1 Peter 1:4). Our hope and our joy increase the more we contemplate what Heaven will be like, what being in direct, unhindered Relationship with God will be like. You are a member of the Family of God! You have access to this joy and power now, but the more anticipatory joy we allow to build inside of us, the more God’s inner working power can be activated and seen by other people around us here, like a lamp, like a light in the darkness, showing them the way to God through joy.

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence)” (Galatians 5:22-23, AMPC).

We are happy, and full of the joy of Christ Jesus. We are to “stir ourselves up” in the Lord!

“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:6-7, NKJV).

Another reason we are cheerful is that God has foreordained and established the good things saved souls are to do on the earth while they are here. We do them in complete rest and peace. Due to God’s providence, we will not miss the reasons He has us tarry here (see Ephesians 2:10, KJV). Moreover, God Himself will help us accomplish His good purposes, and He gives us the rewards!

“If the work which any person has built on this Foundation {of Christ} [any product of his efforts whatever] survives [this test], he will get his reward” (1 Corinthians 3:14, AMPC).

Sometimes we wonder if we are being used by God at all, but I assure you, you are. Stay consistent. Stay in the Word. Pray, and obey. These good and cheerful qualities that are inside of us grow and thrive, then we do! We—our lives, our personalities, our acts—emanate from the Spirit of God as Chief Resident, and any work of goodness we contribute toward the Kingdom of God does not require public display (see Matthew 6) to be counted by God to our credit! This is because God 1) does them Himself, and 2) sees all, including the human heart.

We are rewarded for God’s work!

God loves purity—pure motives. We do not have to do things to be seen, to be known, or to be recognized by man. The whole point is that God would be seen, known, and recognized by man. It is better for us to be forgotten and God to be remembered. So have joy in this process of being so used, and so hidden—so managed by God Himself!

Note that “great things” God has done, or gadal, from our opening passage (Psalm 126:3) means that God has “twisted a cord [to] make firm and become strong” like an umbilical cord is a child’s lifeline (Brown-Driver-Briggs, 1431). The intent of the word, gadal, is to grow up God’s children, making them mature—as the Good Parent, He does this maturing and character development in us, His children. The “making great” aspect of the word is for GOD to become great, not the person, for it means “to magnify”—a very positive, powerful thing when GOD is magnified, and a detrimental thing (i.e., a great fall) when the person “magnifies oneself against” God. Pray for your motives to be pure as you serve the Lord with gladness.

Note also that the tense of gadal is past, present and future—all-encompassing of time: God has already twisted a cord, a channel, a connection from the foundations of the world, to make at present, at Jesus Christ’s time, to continue to become this same strength to us now, and indeed until He comes at the consummation of the age (Matthew 28). There is no time that God is not with us, and working. Therefore…

“Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations” (Psalm 100:1-5, NKJV).

Yet another reason we are happy as believers in Christ is that it is a commandment of Jesus to be so.

“I’m not all alone, because the Father is with me. I’ve told you this so that my peace will be with you. In the world you’ll have trouble. But cheer up! I have overcome the world” (John 16:32b-33, GW).

Our cheerful attitude is like a song of continual praise. Our uplifted countenance shows that we believe and have confidence in the fact that Jesus won His battle, and He continues to win the battle. He is coming soon—a truth which sparks great joy, for the battle will be over and all things decided.

Until that event, even in the greatest sort of difficulty or trouble on earth (John 16:2), Jesus explains that prayer is a complete source of happiness. It is like a pipeline of joy from the Father’s Throne in Heaven. Prayer is so much more powerful than we give it credit! Jesus makes it very clear that this joy can NEVER be taken away from us (vs. 22-24). The enemy may attempt to steal it through our clouded perceptions, but he cannot. Our Joy in the Lord is our strength and it is eternally secured. (See John 10:10.) Jesus had the firmest belief and interactions/dialogue with God of anyone who has ever walked the earth. He is our Example in everything, including faith, joy and prayer. Jesus believed in the absolute goodness and providence of God—there was absolutely no question. He was God in man, but also here to show us how faith is to operate in its fullness. We must watch Jesus closely, and emulate Him closely. He physically left earth (resides with the Father) to send us the all-encompassing, operative and energizing Spirit of God to live within us to this day. We must be aware of God with us and in us!

If the Spirit of God is joy and peace, we are full of these qualities and have God’s permission, request, enablement, and, indeed, command to operate in and experience this state of peace and joy regardless of circumstances. It is a matter of belief. This connection to God is not past. It is present, like watching a live film versus a prerecording. GOD IS NOW. In fact, it is not film, but a real story playing inside of you and right next to you—alive and breathing within you. You are not alone. You are not separated. GOD ALMIGHTY is with you, closer than a brother!

There are times when this truth is difficult to grasp—the Bible calls them trials for they test the faith, but, when endured, only make faith stronger. Jesus Himself was tested severely in the Garden of Gethsemane, where His sweat (His works of faith, perception and emotion) became blood (actual bodily sacrifice) falling to the ground. He watched His own death before it happened. But God used His obedience to redeem those with names written in the dust, an event used to write our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life where they can NEVER be erased or blotted out. We are allowed to always have faith, joy and cheer because we know our LORD has gone first. He survived, and indeed thrived beyond, His sufferings into glory eternal. Likewise, we know our Reward from and with God is certain. We know Christ came as our Example to follow. And we are full of JOY upon anticipating His Return, but also because He is with us, intertwined with us forever. We are God’s children; and like children, we are one with our Father.

Live in JOY! It is the Fruit of the Spirit of God within you—an unbreakable bond.

God bless you.


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Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible (AMPC), Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Darby, public domain.

Scripture is taken from GOD’S WORD®© 1995, 2003, 2013, 2014, 2019, 2020 by God’s Word to the Nations Mission Society. Used by permission.

King James, public domain.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Brown-Driver-Briggs, 1431 gadal,


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