– Ole Hallesby
It seemed that Paul was continually thanking God for Jesus Christ (Rom 1:8). Paul was thankful to God that He delivered the Romans from their slavery to sin (Rom 6:17), and he even thanked God for the believers, for the grace that God had given them (1 Cor 1:4). Read almost any of Paul’s epistles (letters) and you’ll see him generally giving thanks in each one, near the beginning and near the ending. He was continually thanking God for such things as leading the believers out of sin like captives led out of slavery due to Christ’s triumphant procession (2 Cor 2:14) paved with the precious blood of the Lamb of God. Paul just never seemed to stop thanking God for the church (Eph 1:16), and surely that makes Jesus most happy when He sees us giving thanks like Paul did every single time he thought of the believers (Phil 1:3; 1 Thess 1:2; 2:13; 2 Thess 1:3; 2:13).
Steadfast in Mind
Isaiah was one of the books of the Old Testament that Jesus loved to quote, and no wonder, because Isaiah wrote so much of the book about Him. In one verse Isaiah writes that the person who has his or her mind stayed upon God (Isaiah 26:3) will have perfect peace because they have trusted in God. Isn’t that what Jesus promised His disciples? He told them that He would give them peace and that the peace He gave them wouldn’t be like that of the world, so they had no reason to have troubled hearts (John 14:27). That’s the kind of peace that guards our minds and our hearts (Phil 4:7). They believed in God, so they could also believe in Him (John 14:1). He wasn’t going to leave them as orphans because He told them that He would come again for them (John 14:18) and take them back to where He would be (John 14:3). Doesn’t it make you happy when someone believes what you say? Now imagine how happy we can make Jesus if we believe everything He says, which is written down in His Word, the Bible.
The Thankful Leper
When Jesus healed the ten lepers, only one came back to thank Him (Luke 17:11-19). Jesus asked about the other nine lepers who were healed, but only the one leper, and a foreigner at that, who the Jews generally despised, came back to Jesus to thank Him (Luke 17:17-19). You have to wonder about the other nine healed lepers. Did their leprosy return? Leprosy is symbolic of sin in the Bible. All lepers had to be separated from the community. They were outcasts. They had to shout “unclean, unclean” and be heard at least a hundred yards in front of them so everyone would be warned that they were coming. The thankful leper alone received a final resolution because only to him did Jesus say, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well” (Luke 17:19). Some translations say, “Your faith has made saved you,” which is an image of being saved out of sin.
Jesus has made us happy by dying for our sins and bridging the separation that our sins had created between us and God (Isaiah 59:1-2), so we should remember that Jesus is moved to happiness every time He sees that you and I appreciate what He has done for us. What He has done for you and me ought to make us exceedingly happy!