Joy

 

I’d like to begin by asking a simple question.

What is the greatest possible joy anyone could ever possibly have?

Though this question may seem simple and straightforward, many of us are bound to try to answer it by relating to our own life experiences.

Maybe to some of us, the greatest joy a person could have comes in the form of the wealth and recognition that have resulted from a lifetime of hard work, commitment, and sacrifice.

Perhaps to others, the greatest joy is experienced in peaceful yet fleeting moments of comfort and satisfaction that come from spending time with our closest and most trusted friends.

Even still, perhaps the greatest joy there is to have in life can come from the love and responsibility that comes from the momentous effort of being apart of a lifelong relationship with a lover we could fondly call our own.

While all of these joys are worth pursuing in their own rights, none of these things could be proclaimed as the greatest of all life’s joys as that honor is held for only one joy alone.

The greatest joy any one of us could ever have is the joy that comes from the Lord.

It’s understandable that for many of us, this may be too difficult a principle to accept.

The joy that comes from the Lord isn’t as visible or tangible as the other joys life has to offer so it can sometimes appear to be dismissable.

However, this form of joy is superior to any other joy that we could ever find in this lifetime or any other because unlike any other joy or good that we may have in our lives, nothing can improve us, sustain us, or fulfill us as perfectly or completely as it can.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at how the joy that comes from the Lord allows us to live more robust and desirable lives in ways that the joy from anything else simply can not.

 

It Makes You Stronger

The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.

Proverbs 10:28

More than anything else in our lives, the joy that comes from a life lived in the pursuit of Jesus Christ compels us to be better people for the simple fact that it allows us to best combat the manifestation of one particular type of thing in our lives, sin.

Sin has the potential to destroy anything that we could ever hold dear in our lives be they structural things such as our homes or our jobs or be they abstract things such as our bonds and our relationships.

When we sin, we plague the fields of our relationships with the locusts of abuse and dishonesty, we burn the barns of our wealth with the fires of laziness and ignorance, and we infect the cattle of our self-image with the diseases of pride, hopelessness, and shame.

Sin will take away everything good in our lives and leave us with nothing but pain and regret.

Yet in the Joy that comes from the Lord, we find the power to eradicate the hold of sin in our lives now and forever.

While other joys in our lives might not require us to oppose of the sin and evil we carry within our hearts to enjoy them, the joy that is found in a life lived in the pursuit of God compels us to discipline ourselves in through the practice of selflessness, wisdom, patience, and love.

In having faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we find the strength to take back our lives from the clutches of sin a darkness and live lives guided by peace and righteous in the process.

 

It’s There When You Need It To Be

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Romans 12:12

In life, it’s only inevitable that we will sometimes face hardships.

Things don’t always work out at our jobs, the people we care about can sometimes let us down, our families can sometimes be a source of stress and anxiety, whatever the case may be a simple fact of life is that no aspect of our lives can be perfect all the time.

However, a serious problem arises when we believe that the things we make out to be the most important aspects of our lives will never let us down.

When the tangible things in our lives that we rest so much of our identities like our careers of relationships on seem to be collapsing in right on top of our heads, it can appear as though our entire lives seem to be falling apart.

Yet the joy that comes from the Lord will never fail us because God will always be steadfast and enduring.

In the moments where life seems to be taking a turn for the worst, through our trust in the promise of the Lord to use all trails to our benefit, we can find wholeness rather than brokenness and obtain the comfort of hope rather than the emptiness of despair.

Where the joys found in the things of this world will fade away, the joy that comes from the Lord will always be enduring.

 

It Fills Your Life With Purpose

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Romans 15:13

When we claim that we want certain things in our lives to be happy, we rarely ever mean one thing in particular.

At one moment our ideal form of joy could come in the form of spending more time with our families yet in the next moment it could come in the form of making more money at work yet even still it then become to surround ourselves with new friends.

Life without a central focus is a life spent chasing a moving target.

When we make the object of our joy something temporal like relationships or status, we place ourselves in the never-ending cycle of wanting something completely different after we get the things that we believed were all we needed.

The good news is that the Joy that comes from God really is the only thing we need to be happy.

By centering ourselves in the pursuit of God alone, we can delight in that fact that our well being isn’t decided by our employers, or by the moods of friends, or by the actions of our families since we instead find security and consistency in the person of the Lord.

Instead of chasing ideals of happiness we could never fully obtain, in the joy of the Lord, we obtain the happiness that will last us a lifetime and beyond.

 

Joy is one of few things that make life truly pleasing and satisfying to live.

Therefore pursue the joy that lasts, and find peace for it.

 

This is 30 Days of Growth: Day 28

Thanks for Reading!

 

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