Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Full of Joy

1John 1:4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
What makes people happy? What makes you happy? Do you think happiness is important? Obviously, people do think happiness is important, and this is not some new and novel idea. The idea that happiness is important and even a basic right has been around for quite sometime.
Listen to these words from a document dated July 4, 1776: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." These words, of course, are from the Declaration of Independence. Undoubtedly, the founders of our country thought that happiness was a worthy goal to pursue.
The problem, however, with pursuing happiness is that you have to catch it. And this proves easier said than done. All sorts of advice has been given out over the years. A Chinese proverb reads, "If you wish to be happy for one hour, get intoxicated. If you wish to be happy for three days, get married. If you wish to be happy for eight days, kill your pig and eat it. If you wish to be happy forever, learn to fish." Now whether you agree with anything in this proverb, it does illustrate that there is no widely held consensus on how to find true happiness.
And there is a good reason why people have had trouble discovering true and lasting happiness. The problem is in the nature of happiness. Happiness depends on what happens. Happiness is linked to our circumstances. When things are going great, then I am happy. When things take a turn for the worst, then my happiness evaporates. What people really want is a happiness that lasts. People desire a happiness that does depend on happenstance. But, does such a thing exist?
Such a thing does exist. But it is not called happiness. In fact, we find this thing on the pages of the Bible. There we see a better alternative to happiness in what the Bible calls "joy". Joy, unlike happiness, does not depend upon my situation in life. Joy is deeper and more abiding than happiness. Joy is something that God gives His children. Joy is a mark of someone who has been truly redeemed.
Listen to how D. L. Moody describes this difference. "Happiness is caused by things that happen around me, and circumstances will mar it; but joy flows right on through trouble; joy flows on through the dark; joy flows in the night as well as in the day; joy flows all through persecution and opposition. It is an unceasing fountain bubbling up in the heart; a secret spring the world can’t see and doesn’t know anything about. The Lord gives His people perpetual joy when they walk in obedience to Him."Do you have the joy? That is the real question for today. Do you have the real and lasting joy that only Christ can give? The good news of the Scripture is that fullness of joy can be ours in Christ. Joy always results from a relationship with Christ. This is what the Bible teaches


Andy said...

Joy is amazing, because its everlasting. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. I have lost interest in many things upon this earth, but have not lost interest in my Saviour Jesus Christ, because he has brought joy to my heart. Thanks Bro. Dave..