Joy — Cause God’s Home

But idols bring many sorrows

Mark Raja
3 min readNov 24, 2023
Christ in the House of Martha and Mary, by Johannes Vermeer

What a joy it is when your loved one has come home. Maybe your spouse, child, parent, grandparent, or grandchild returned home. Their presence brings joy to each other because they love each other.

John, in his gospel, wrote a remarkable truth. It always gives me a sense of wonder and joy. “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

When I completely love God and obey him, the understanding that God has come to me to make it his home is a marvellous yet frightening (in a good sense) feeling. It is far more beautiful than the idea that I will go to heaven after I die. Our joy is complete in Christ. The angels proclaimed the glad tidings of great joy when Christ came to us.

What a great thing to know that the presence of the Spirit of God in us brings forth joy. “…in your presence, there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” But, “The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply.”

Joy is not something you do, but those in love experience it. Catholic theologian Josef Pieper said. “There can, of course, be love without pain and sorrow, but love without joy is impossible.”

Puritan Thomas Watson wrote: “The first fruit of love is the musing of the mind upon God. He who is in love, his thoughts are ever upon the object. He who loves God is ravished and transported with the contemplation of God. ​”When I awake, I am still with thee.””

The person you love and long to be with has finally come home. You would want to have long conversations and do all things together. It is not just God coming home to you, but you delight in him like Mary, who sat at his feet to listen to him. Sadly, Martha lacked that joy.

Remember, it is not just our joy; it is also God’s joy to be with us. “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

Unfortunately, in reality, these times don’t last forever. We say our painful goodbyes and hope for another time in the future. Or maybe our love goes cold. But God promised to be with us at home forever. In good times and even in difficult times, when God, whom I love, is with me in my life, it is the greatest joy a lover can have.

This doesn’t mean things will be perfect from now on; in fact, it could be difficult and sorrowful. Remember, the one the world hates is in your home, and that is potentially a reason for trouble. But you don’t care since you love him. Joy remains despite pain, persecution or loss. “They joyfully accepted the plundering of your property since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one.”

A soul that is fully secure in God’s love and His presence abounds in joy because it fears and lacks nothing.

On the other hand, sex, money, fame or all pleasures are no substitutes for Joy in the Lord who is home. It may not mean laughing and dancing all the time; maybe you would sometimes, but you are always peaceful, hopeful, and growing in love towards God and others. It is a genuine indicator that the Spirit of God is in us.

A soul that is fully secure in God’s love and His presence abounds in joy because it fears and lacks nothing. “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.”

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again, I will say, rejoice!” Are you always joyful? If not, you are not trusting God for everything.

May we abandon our idols, genuinely love and trust God, and ask Him to make us his home. The world desperately longs to see heaven on earth amidst His joyful people.



Mark Raja

I mostly write to clarify my understanding. You will find my articles on themes like beauty, faith, hope, culture, and common good.