Joy in Glorifying God

“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever” is the answer given by Westminster Shorter Catechism, mined out of Psalms 86:9, 16:5-11, 144:15; Isaiah 60:21, 12:2, Roman 11.36, 1 Corinthians 6:20, 10:31; Luke 2:10, Philippians 4.4 and Revelation 4:11, 21:3-4, to the question of what the chief end of man is.

It was not until I read Desiring God by John Piper did I start making a connection between glorifying God and enjoying and delighting in Him. Piper’s shortest summary of Christian Hedonism is: God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.

Piper argued that:

We all make a god out of what we take the most pleasure in. Christian Hedonists want to make God their God by seeking after the greatest pleasure—pleasure in him.

By Christian Hedonism, we do not mean that our happiness is the highest good. We mean that pursuing the highest good will always result in our greatest happiness in the end. We should pursue this happiness, and pursue it with all our might. The desire to be happy is a proper motive for every good deed, and if you abandon the pursuit of your own joy you cannot love man or please God.

When The Mind Meets The Heart

It is one thing to grasp this idea in your mind and quite another to experience it. Four months ago my father-in-law and I went to watch a European 2012 qualifying football game between Denmark and Norway. The atmosphere in the stadium, which was almost full, was electric. Songs were loudly and proudly sang. We cheered and chanted as we up and down jumped with joy when Denmark scored. The more we praised/cheered them, the more joy we received.

When the game was over, I started reflecting on the connecting between praise given and joy received. I asked myself, as a Tanzanian, what made me cheer and delight in the Danish team? My answer was simple. They deserved to be praised. Their game was worthy of my praise. It was then my mind met my heart, as I asked myself how much more praise should I give to God, who is by far infinitely superior and worthy of my very being and who unlike Danish football team, never failed me. O how much joy would flow out of glorifying Him.

Do you crave to enjoy God? I would advise you to start praising Him. Are you craving for unfailing and unending joy? Pray that He would be your center, your treasure, and the supreme desire of your heart, mind, strength and soul. You will sing, dance; up and down you will jump with joy. He will receive the praise and you will receive the joy. That is your chief end.

“Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”

Psalm 37:4

2 thoughts on “Joy in Glorifying God

  1. Dear Prayson:

    “The desire to be happy is the proper motive for every good deed.” Yes, indeed. Aristotle, of course, would go further, and have it that happiness is always the motive, in the sense of Telos, for every deed under the sun, good or bad, right or wrong, sinful or deservng of salvation. Simply, and some would no doubt have it, simplistically, for Aristotle, the goal of life is happiness; happiness is a life lived according to Virtue, and virtue is the disposition to choose the Golden Mean between extremes of behavior, itself no simple undertaking. My point is that all this can be found “outside” scripture (perish the thought!). That some find it firmly set in scripture is laudable, save when it leads to rampant homophobia, an irrational anti-abortion posturing, and the unwillingness to touch the skin of a pig. (Sorry, forgot, that last one is not a no-no in today’s culture, at least not like the first two).

    To be a Chrisitan does not necessitate slavishly quoting Biblical texts, as some seem to think. It involves far more living in an “imitation of Christ.” And I do not think God cares whether we worship him or not. He cares about how we live out our daily lvies, live out the Community of the Blessed,the Kingdom of God, here on earth — that sort of thing.

    Now on to Danish football, of which I admittedly know little. I seem to hear that one should praise the Danish team because they are worthy of being praised. And why are they worthy of being praised? Because they win? Because you admire their athleticism? Because you care for their colors? Do I smell a vicious circle?

    Oh well, Happy New Year alll! And yes it’s fine to praiseGod — but its better to do good, to live in a godly manner. For further info, read the Bible and the Nichomechean (sp?) Ethics.


    • Dear Tom,

      Thank you for a thoughtful comment. I would kindly and respectfully though in one ground differ with your position. I believe you are correct in stating that God cares about how we live our daily lives but in err stating that you “do not think God cares whether we worship him or not”

      Paul, in Corinthians, argued for Christian liberty and concluded with “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”( 1 Cor 10:31) and ” whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”(Colossians 3:17 ) In all we do, ought to be done to the glory of God.

      Peter takes it further “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”(1 Peter 4:11 )

      There is no “either-or” nor “better-than”. We are called to praise God in our living. To live in a godly manner is the fruit that comes from praising, treasuring, and delighting in God.

      Thanks again and again for your comments.

      In Christ,

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