Don’t Postpone Your Joy
Have you ever worked hard at reaching for something believing that once achieved you would be happy but only to realize that the celebration lasted only for a while? I have been there.
Very often, we strive to ascend a mountain, in our career, finances or studies, feeling that once we reach that peak, we would have made it in life. Yet many times, we feel empty and still dissatisfied even when standing atop that mountain. Sometimes, as soon as we have arrived at the peak, we set for ourselves yet another higher mountain to scale in pursuit of a higher level of happiness. Other times, the mountain is so steep that the climb itself has sapped us of all our energy and confidence. We are left feeling stranded on the mountain, exhausted and helpless.
You see, happiness is elusive. It does not last. Happiness is attached to conditions and achievements, and therefore shifts when things change. When pursuit of happiness becomes our focus in life, we often find ourselves in an exhausting cycle of striving.
My friends, joy is the far better pursuit we should be on. Joy comes from a focus on something greater and points us to something higher. Jesus saw the joy of the Kingdom to come beyond the Cross. It is because of this joy that He endured the Cross.
The Bible teaches us in Hebrews 12:2 NKJV,
“looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the Cross…, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
It is certainly pure torment and suffering to go to the Cross for the sins of the world. Yet the joy that lies ahead is the reason Jesus endured the Cross – the joy of the redemption of all mankind, the joy of having fulfilled all that the Father sent Him to do.
Praise God for the finished works of Jesus that we now are able to be fully reconciled with our Father in Heaven. We now have freedom and peace in Christ! Praise God that in Christ we have a new life and a new purpose, and life is now truly meaningful and worth living. There is hope in our Lord Jesus!
The freedom, peace and hope we have in Christ produce joy on the inside of us. When we open our eyes to the glory of Christ, we experience joy in Him. When we look to the Gospel with a heart of remembrance and thanksgiving, we experience the fullness of joy in Christ. The Gospel is after all, ‘Good News of Great Joy’ (Luke 2:10). Where else can we look to in order to have joy but to the Gospel? Who else do we look at to have joy but at Jesus Christ?
Since joy is based in Christ, it cannot be lost. The Bible tells us He is the same yesterday, today and forever more (Hebrews 13:8). Whether we are going through sorrowful moments or times of celebration, joy is present on the inside of us! Joy is not circumstantial or temporal.
Joy is not reserved only for those whose personality is more inclined to feelings of joy. No. Joy is available for all who are in Christ Jesus and whose lives are filled with the Holy Spirit. Joy comes from being connected to God.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NCV/ERV
16 Always be full of joy.
17 Pray continually,
18 and give thanks whatever happens. That is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus.
Joy is not about happy feelings or warm sentiments. Joy is an inner attitude of rejoicing in one’s salvation in Christ despite outward circumstances. Joy is an assurance that God is in control of every detail of our life, it is a confidence that Christ is causing all things to turn out well for us, it is a resolve to praise and thank Jesus in every circumstance.
Such joy is certainly going to be reflected in our worship. As disciples of Christ, we desire God to receive all worship and for His glory to be seen by all. Therefore, we must make known the Good News of Great Joy – the Gospel – to others. We share the joy of our salvation and the Lord’s goodness in our lives as deeply as we know and experience Him. In sharing His goodness, we are made joyful because God receives worship, and others come to know and experience the joy that comes from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Join me in this prayer.
“Dear Heavenly Father, I thank You that in Your presence, there is fullness of joy. No matter what the circumstances are, when I fix my eyes on Who You are, what You have done and what You have promised, joy and hope well up in my heart. And this joy that comes only from You becomes my strength in all that I am facing. Use me, Lord, to be daily sharing this everlasting joy of salvation to the people around me. I pray also that I be an encourager and an inspiration to the brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ to live out and to share this joy we have in You. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.”