You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
When we think about the joys of life and the pleasures we experience, different things come to mind…
Watching a son or daughter be born [have to be there to appreciate it people]. Perhaps your wedding day comes to mind. For me proposing was joyous (probably because after that it was all about Lindsey). A job well done. Learning to dive or swim. Getting the promotion. Finishing that never-ending project. A good cup of coffee. A white Christmas.
There are all sorts of things that bring joy and pleasure. As great as those things are, though, they are little more than a passing shadow of the fullness of joy we’ll experience for eternity.
Ultimately, our capacity for joy on this earth is never fulfilled. But our inheritance in Jesus is such that our capacity for joy will be filled, and then that capacity will continue to expand forever.
So if you can recall your most joyous moment, imagine that feeling staying with you, never having to come down off that mountaintop. The gratitude you felt, the nearness to God, the love for others—that all increases and expands.
Now I’ll shoot straight with you; growing up I kind of dreaded heaven because I couldn’t imagine who would want to spend forever anywhere, especially at a never-ending church service.
But I’m not sure we’ll have any sense of time.
That’s why now when I sing the last stanza of Amazing Grace I don’t panic:
When we’ve been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun, we’ve no less days (no panic) to sing God’s praise, than when we first begun!
With boundless time and endless capacity for joy, we’ll drink deeply of the most precious moments God can create.
Charles Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, related it like this:
“He who drinks from a cup can soon drain it dry, but he who lies down on the brink of a great river may drink as long as he likes and he will never empty it, for he has come to its fullness.”
We’re drinking our joy out of a little Dixie cup right now. But in the life that comes, for those who know God, we’re sticking our faces in the river and drinking it in…but never getting full!