Monday, December 14, 2020

What is Real Joy?

 Monday, December 14, 2020  

You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.  Psalms 16:11

What is Real Joy?

So often, people confuse joy and happiness.  Happiness is a superficial feeling, but joy is much deeper. It is born deep in our souls and comes from God. It is not a product of our circumstances or our possessions.

True joy is a “state of being” more than an emotion.  Unlike happiness,
joy is not dependent on circumstances.  – Van Houser

There are times in life when joy does not come instantly, or even at all.  Sometimes, it is truly a choice to be joyful and we may even have to fight for it. We may have to pursue it so our own emotions will not drown it out. Those times may be the times that we don’t want to fight for it. It may be that we don’t want our joy back enough to fight for it. We have given up and feel all is hopeless. This is a vulnerable place for a Christian to be and a great victory for Satan! He is constantly working to try to steal our joy by making us think that joy is from this world and the things in it. Things may bring us momentary happiness, but they will never give us deep, abiding joy. That kind of joy only comes from God. 

There are some genuinely sad and hard times in life. There are times when we weep and grieve and joy doesn’t seem to be anywhere in sight. But it is possible to weep and grieve and still have joy deep down in our soul. Joy comes from God and it is unwavering. Sadness comes. Grief comes. Frustration and anger and all those emotions are part of life, but joy is not dependent on what is happening in our lives. Joy is a divine gift from God, and nothing can take it away. It is this joy from God that helps us through the tough times.


Christmas Emotions
At Christmas, our emotions are heightened, as is our stress and perceptions of how it all should go. We can let our circumstances at Christmas cover our joy if we are not careful. One way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to keep our focus on the true reason we celebrate Christmas. It isn’t about the gifts, the decorations, food, or tree. It is about Jesus and His gift to us. He gave us the ultimate gift with His life and that gift is a gift we can give to others. This gift, and passing on to others  brings us that deep, abiding joy that we so desperately seek.

Jesus exampled the joy that can be ours when we give by giving the ultimate gift - His life - eternal life.  
  • Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the JOY set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2
  • These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.  John 15:11

These verses depict the suffering He endured on the cross, yet also speak of His joy, despite His circumstances. Jesus found joy when He gave Himself and we can find joy in giving of ourselves to others also. 

Three ways we can give more of ourselves is:

We can give more time - We can give more by giving more time to those in our lives that may need us.  One of the greatest gifts we can give those who love us is time. Those people that need to talk to you, that child that needs you to play with them, etc... they don't want a material gift in place of you. They want time with you. Time spent together brings joy and it is always worth the sacrifice. 

We can give more service - We can give more in joy by giving ourselves in service, to God and others. Serving others will make you forget your burdens and troubles faster than anything by putting others needs first. It brings great joy when we serve others - joy for them and joy for us. 

We can give more love - We will always find more joy when we give love away. Love is that thing that never runs out. When we give love, our reservoir is refilled by God and then we have more to give away. We are given the love of our heavenly Father and when we give that joy to others, we will have that deep joy. 

Sunday Brother Van said The eyes and ears of a believer who is seeking to discover places to find joy do not focus on the places of happiness but those places where things and people are in need. The greatest joy we can know is in having a part in fulfilling the mission of Christ. Jesus is Joy and giving to others - time, service, and love, brings that joy straight into our hearts. 


Devotional Archive