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God loves us and wants us to be happy. This is clear from many of the Psalms. Last week we saw it in Psalm 32, and it is even more prominent in Psalm 33. Psalm 33 is a liturgy in praise of the LORD.

God loved his chosen people Israel when this Psalm was written and sung at the temple, and he loves his chosen people, the Church, now:

The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love (5)

The eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love (18).

May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you (22).

Because of God’s unfailing love, his people are happy:

Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him (1).

Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy (3).

Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance (12).

In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name (21).

God’s love for us is steadfast and never fails. He loves the righteous; those who live in right relationship with him and with their neighbors. He delivers them from the Evil One, from their enemies, and from themselves. In this Psalm, the people are especially happy, it seems, because they have just been delivered from a large army knocking on their door. Verse 10 says that the LORD foils the plans of the nations (those unrighteous nations who do not want to live in right relationship with God or their neighbor Israel). Verse 16 says that no king is saved by the size of his army and that no warrior escapes by his great strength. Verse 19 refers to the LORD delivering his people from death.

Sometimes we have an evil army knocking on the door of our lives, our family or our community of faith. But when we trust in God’s unfailing love and “wait in hope for the LORD” (20), we will come out of the situation, in the end, victorious! We will sing joyfully to the LORD and our hearts will rejoice in his holy name.

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Before you ever get a problem, God already has your deliverance planned. Joyce Meyer

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God loves us and wants us to be happy. David writes in Psalm 32:1-2, “Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven, who sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the LORD does not count against them and in whose spirit is no deceit.”

The NIV Study Bible defines blessed as the happy condition of those who revere the Lord and do his will and put their trust in him.

David starts off Psalm 32 talking about the general happy condition of all those who have had their sins forgiven or “covered”. I think he had in mind the sin offering or the blood sacrifice of an animal that was killed and burned on the alter in front of the tabernacle. The blood of the animal would be sprinkled and thus “cover” the sin of the one bringing the sacrifice. This offering in the Old Testament pointed to the blood of Jesus shed on the cross and is the true covering of sins and transgressions for all those who confess their sins and trust Jesus for forgiveness.

David goes on to say that he knows about sin and forgiveness in a personal way. When he had sinned and “kept silent” his bones wasted away, his strength was sapped and he groaned all day because the LORD’s hand was “heavy” on him. He finally acknowledged his sin to God and stopped covering up his iniquity so that his sins would be covered by the LORD.

God loves us. Verse 10 says the “LORD’s unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts him.”

God wants us to be happy. Verse 11 says, “Rejoice in the LORD and be glad,

you righteous; sing all you upright in heart.”

When we confess our sins and are forgiven, we are made righteous; upright in heart, which is to say we are living in right relationship with God and with our fellow man.

We rejoice and are glad and sing unto the Lord because it doesn’t get any better than that.

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When we stray from His presence, He longs for you to come back. He weeps that you are missing out on His love, protection and provision. He throws His arms open, runs toward you, gathers you up, and welcomes you home. Charles Stanley

God loves us and wants us to be happy. How do I know this? The Bible tells me so.  Its repeated many times in the Psalms. The LORD is good and his love endures forever. Give thanks to the LORD for he is good; his love endures forever.

One key to understanding that God loves us and wants us to be happy, is the word “good”. In the beginning, in Genesis 1, God makes light, land and sea and it is good.  He makes plants and trees and calls them good. He makes the sun, moon and stars, and guess what? They are good. He creates animals, birds and fish. He says, ” They are good.” They are all good in their own right, but who are they good for? Humans! I don’t think the creation so far made God particularly happy, but he knew it would make humans happy. Adam and Eve; you and me. Finally he makes humans in his image and likeness, and then stands back and takes a look at it all and declares, “It is very good!”

The second key to understanding that God loves us and wants us to be happy, is the word “love”.  All of us who have children love them and want them to be happy.  We are not perfect, and often make mistakes in showing our love for them. Those who are in Christ are God’s adopted children. Our heavenly Father never makes mistakes in loving us. I like what Jesus said in Matthew 7, ” If you being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good gifts to his children. ”  This goodness all starts with God’s love. Not with us. 1 John 4:10 tells us, “This is love, not that we have loved God, but that he has loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice for our sins.”

If that thought, act, gift and love doesn’t make us happy, nothing will!

As we enter a new year, we can imagine it as a kind of new creation. A blank slate, an empty book, and we can look forward to seeing what good words that God is going to write on the slate of our hearts; on the pages of our lives. We can anticipate wonderful gifts that our Heavenly Father is going to give us. Let’s look forward to the new year with excitement, joy and anticipation, knowing that God loves us and wants us to be happy!

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Praying that in 2023 you have –

12 months of success

52 weeks of laughter

365 days of fun

8760 hours of joy

525600 minutes of blessing

and 31536000 seconds of happiness

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