The Bible’s Viewpoint
Can Worshipping God Be Enjoyable?
“I BELIEVE in and love God,” writes one professed Christian. “But . . . church bores me.” Do you share those feelings? The fact is, boredom, dissatisfaction, and frustration have caused some to invent their own ways of worshipping God.
“Do-it-yourself religion” is how one newspaper labeled the phenomenon of self-invented forms of worship. But for those who desire to enjoy worship of God, such an alternative can be unrewarding. Why? Because the disenchantment that drove such ones away from their churches may overtake them again.
This leads to the question, Is living according to Bible teachings boring, devoid of joy? Not at all! Note, for example, the words of one Bible psalmist: “O come let us cry out joyfully to Jehovah! . . . O come in, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before Jehovah our Maker.”—Psalm 95:1, 6.
Another Bible psalmist sang to Jehovah with appreciation: “You alone are the Most High over all the earth.” In the Scriptures, Jehovah is called “the happy God,” and his worshippers have often expressed joy, both in the past and today.—Psalm 83:18; 1 Timothy 1:11.
The Basis for Joy
The basis for true joy in our worship is the realization of what Jehovah has actually done to manifest his love for us. And what is that? “God loved the world [humankind] so much that he gave his only-begotten Son [Jesus Christ], in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.”—John 3:16.
So, as the Bible says, God’s will is that “all sorts of men should be saved and come to an accurate knowledge of truth.” (1 Timothy 2:3, 4) That does not mean simply knowing what certain Bible verses say. Rather, we need to “get the sense of” what we read, which involves careful, sincere study. (Matthew 15:10) The reward is: “You will find the very knowledge of God.” That can be enjoyable indeed!—Proverbs 2:1-5.
In the first century, people of the Macedonian city of Beroea realized such joy. When the apostle Paul taught them God’s word, “they received the word with the greatest eagerness of mind, carefully examining the Scriptures daily as to whether these things were so.” They would not have had such eagerness if their study of the Scriptures had been boring or joyless.—Acts 17:11.
Jesus said: “Happy are those hungering and thirsting for righteousness, since they will be filled.” (Matthew 5:6) Like famished people who have begun eating regularly, many today have been thrilled to find their spiritual hunger being satisfied. Therefore, like the Beroeans, “many of them [have become] believers.”—Acts 17:12.
A Way of Life
True worshippers of the first century took up “The Way,” a term used at Acts 9:2 to refer to the new life course that early Christians followed. Today, those who want to experience joy in worshipping God must do the same. They need to allow Bible truths to affect their thinking and their daily conduct.
The apostle Paul thus urged people of Ephesus: “Put away the old personality which conforms to your former course of conduct.” Yet, more is needed, as Paul continued: “Put on the new personality which was created according to God’s will in true righteousness and loyalty.”—Ephesians 4:22-24.*
As we respond to that counsel, making changes in our life in harmony with God’s will, we gain access to a source of great satisfaction and joy. What is that? Paul wrote to Christians in Colossae that they needed to make adjustments in their lives “in order to walk worthily of Jehovah to the end of fully pleasing him.” (Colossians 1:10) Surely, knowing that the true God is pleased with our life is reason for joy! Furthermore, God makes it possible to please him “fully.” How so? Through forgiveness.
Each of us sins; each of us needs to receive God’s forgiveness. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” stated Paul, as recorded at 1 Timothy 1:15. When Jesus sacrificed his life for us, he made it possible for us to receive forgiveness of our sins. Hence, a true worshipper feels relief, for a heavy load of guilt is lifted from his heart. He can have a clean conscience and can rejoice in the confidence that as long as he earnestly does God’s will, he will have forgiveness of his sins.
Further Cause for Joy
When one takes up the worship of the true God, he is not alone. The Bible psalmist David wrote: “I rejoiced when they were saying to me: ‘To the house of Jehovah let us go.’” (Psalm 122:1) Indeed, regularly meeting with other true worshippers greatly enhances our joy.
After attending a meeting of Jehovah’s Witnesses, one man wrote: “We were welcomed by kindness and helpfulness that were indicative of a comprehensive ‘togetherness.’ The composure and poise of so many young people must be a source of pride to them and to their parents. I wish to express how grateful I was to be invited to such a moving and thrilling experience.”
You too may find occasions to worship Jehovah enjoyable, delighting in them as did David long ago. “Serve Jehovah with rejoicing,” he urged. “Come in before him with a joyful cry.” (Psalm 100:2) All who serve the true God with the right motive can expect their worship to be enjoyable.
HAVE YOU WONDERED?
▪ What is the foundation of true worship?—1 Timothy 2:3-6.
▪ What role does Christ’s ransom sacrifice play in bringing us joy?—1 Timothy 1:15.
▪ How can Christian meetings contribute to your enjoyment in worship?—Psalm 100:1-5.
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Joining others in Bible study can be a joyful experience