Deepen Your Joy by Praising God All Day Long
CHRISTIAN joy is not something superficial nor is it merely a matter of inclination or feeling. It is something deep-rooted and a Scriptural requirement laid upon all. As the apostle Paul repeatedly commanded: “Always rejoice in the Lord. Once more I will say, Rejoice!”—Phil. 4:4.
Why, it was even that way in ancient Israel, for Jehovah through Moses commanded them likewise to rejoice: “You must rejoice before Jehovah your God in every undertaking of yours.” All this being so, it is not surprising that Jehovah’s prophet Isaiah foretold that Jehovah’s people in our day would be rejoicing: “Look! My own servants . . . rejoice . . . Look! My own servants will cry out joyfully.”—Deut. 12:18; Isa. 65:13, 14.*
What grounds the enlightened, dedicated Christian servants of Jehovah have today for joy! There is, to begin with, the possession of the truth. We have become acquainted with Jehovah and his purposes, his principles, his laws and his will for us. We know where we are on the stream of time, where we came from, why we are here and what lies ahead of us. Surely all this is cause for joy. And so is the appreciation that the truth has given us of our being able to receive forgiveness from God on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice. Further, there is the marvelous time in which we are living: Our Lord Jesus Christ is present, his kingdom has been established in the heavens, his servants are dwelling in a spiritual paradise, and what prosperity attends them! And we experience the joys of being able to make God’s heart glad and to bring the hope of everlasting life to honest-hearted persons. Surely all such are cogent reasons for joy.—Prov. 27:11; 1 Tim. 4:16.
It is in the very nature of things that there are degrees of joy. Why should we want to deepen our joy? Because the deeper it is the more it can strengthen us and help us to endure. Yes, the joy of Jehovah brings strength. (Neh. 8:10) As we read regarding the Captain of our salvation: “Look intently at the Chief Agent and Perfecter of our faith, Jesus. For the joy that was set before him he endured a torture stake, despising shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”—Heb. 12:2.
Consider also his apostles. Their joy was so deep that when, because of their Christian preaching, they were taken by the officers of the law and brutally flogged they did not lose their joy. We read: “These . . . went their way from before the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy to be dishonored in behalf of his name.”—Acts 5:41.
How can we deepen our joy? Certainly, as through continued, and, if possible, increased, Bible study we grow in knowledge and appreciation of the truth, our joy will increase. The same is true of our continued or increased association with our brothers. But in particular will our continued or increased praising of Jehovah our God, or doing so ever more effectively, deepen our joy. It can be no other way, for in praising Jehovah we are giving—giving honor to him—and there is happiness in giving, is there not? (Acts 20:35) So we are counseled to deepen our joy by praising God all day long. Of course, very few of us can be literally talking God’s praises from morning till night. But there is one thing we can do, and that is to conduct ourselves all day long as befits God’s praisers.—Matt. 5:16.
There is also the praise we can give God in our prayers. Since we are to persevere in prayer and pray incessantly, and since praise is one form of prayer, we can deepen our joy by our continuing in prayer.—Rom. 12:12; 1 Thess. 5:17.
Especially can all of us deepen our joy by being regular in our witnessing. Do we have a schedule? We should, and then endeavor to stick to it. If we do, then we will just take it for granted that at set times each week we will venture forth in the.Christian ministry, calling from house to house with the good news of God’s kingdom and making return visits. If we engage regularly in the field ministry we can hope to deepen our joy, for we will be constantly having interesting experiences.
Then, too, there is the matter of incidental witnessing. To the extent we appreciate that we are to be praising God all day long, to that extent we will be alert to such opportunities, each one of which can greatly add to our joy. During February we will want to deepen our joy by offering the Watchtower magazine on a subscription basis at every opportunity—a very fine way to deepen our joy.
For details see The Watchtower, June 1. 1965.