One of the most cherished phrases in the Declaration of Independence is the assurance that in America you are guaranteed the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is important to note that the government of the United States does not guarantee your happiness, only your right to pursue it.
God is better than our government. He doesn’t merely set up a game in which you are able to pursue your own righteousness and holiness with him. His holy and pure commandments are beyond the ability of sinners to keep perfectly. By giving you forgiveness of your sins through the blood of Jesus, he thereby gives you his favor. By giving you his favor, he obligates himself to act toward you like a Father and throws open the gates of heaven.
How is that not a cause for great joy? “Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11). That doesn’t necessarily mean that you are grinning or giggling all the time. What it does mean is that even in your days of hardship and pain and tears, you have the quiet confidence that you are a winner. When you have Jesus, you have everything. When you have Jesus, you lack nothing. When you have Jesus, you are immortal like him. When you have Jesus, your eternity is secured.