Jesus seems terribly earnest, doesn’t he? Driving out demons, teaching crowds of people for many hours at a time, scolding his disciples for being such blockheads, healing the sick, debating with Pharisees and religious teachers, and withdrawing for intense spiritual quiet time with his Father—all these activities portray how seriously and intensely he took his three-year ministry. Do you suppose he ever smiled? Was Jesus ever happy?
Fortunately Scripture answers that question for us: “At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do’” (Luke 10:21).
God does feel emotions. And although Jesus was often disappointed by the lack of faith and spiritual progress in his followers, he at other times rejoiced at the signs of faith and spiritual progress in his followers! The Father’s wonderful Word and Spirit made those things happen. Those same emotions wash through his heart as he tracks your life. Our failings do make him sad, and we should consider the impact on him when we are tempted to sin. But our repentance, faith, worship, and acts of service bring him joy.
As you read these golden words from the Word, I imagine that he’s smiling at you right now.