A JOURNEY OF JOY OR HAPPINESS
I was reading a devotional and it asked if you would describe your life as joyous or if those around us would consider us to be a joy-filled person (Daily Devotions of Joy). I love what it says next. This is just the introduction;
“It’s true that joy and happiness are not the same. Happiness is based on circumstances and therefore ebbs and flows; joy comes from the heart and is therefore not dependent on what’s happening in your life.
Joy comes from a deep trust in God. Believing that He is in control of all things and yielding your life to Him brings joy.”
So many of us go through the days searching for what makes us happy. We are looking for that moment of contentment. When that one is gone we are looking for the next moment, the next fix. Ultimately we are like little puppies chasing our tails. It leads us in an endless circle, which really takes us nowhere. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend the rest of my life chasing my tail, especially since we are only here for a short time. We are here and wither just like the grass. I want to make an impact, a difference while I am here. I want to accomplish what God created me to do!
So how do we get joy? We receive joy through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. When Christ was crucified, He was sacrificed as the perfect lamb without spot or blemish, whose blood was atonement for our sins. In the Law of Moses, we would have to bring a sacrifice to a high priest to be offered up for our atonement. Jesus died once for all and His blood covers our sins until the end of the age. This isn’t giving you permission to sin and God will just forgive you. Hebrews 10:26-29 (NLT) says, Dear friends, if we deliberately keep sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume His enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the Law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have tramples on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us.
We are free from our sins and the fear of death! Christ has set us free! The Bible tells us, for whom the Son sets free is free indeed (John 8:36)!
We also receive joy from our Lord and Savior because He is trustworthy. Think of the relationships we have on this earth. The expectations that we put on one another, sometimes so high that it leaves too much room for disappointment, hurt, anger, resentment, the list goes on. When we put our full trust and expectations on God, there is no room for disappointment, hurt, anger, resentment, and the list goes on. We receive joy because we KNOW that His ways are higher than ours, His thoughts are not our thoughts. What we think is best for ourselves pales in comparison to what God has in store. He gives us a beautiful gift of redemption and salvation. He gives us the opportunity for us to glorify Him through our friendships, family, marriage and so on.
We receive joy from our Lord and Savior when we completely surrender to Him. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast our anxieties on Him because He cares for us. My brothers and sisters, it is not an easy task to surrender to Him. There are things that I myself struggle to give Him and let Him keep. But that is why we have relationship with Him. We take it to Him and we are reminded that we cannot do it alone, but by the grace and mercy of God, He helps us through, by His strength, not our own. He doesn’t condemn or treat us as we deserve. He loves unconditionally.
My dear brothers and sisters, we should be joyous for what God has done for us! We should be joyous for His love for us (John 3:16, 17). We should be joyous because Christ made it possible for us not to fear death; to take away our sorrows and sadness and shame, to share in an eternal glory with Christ Himself for all eternity! He made a way for you, me, our families, our husband or wife. We should let this joy resonate and take root deep in our hearts!
Revelation 21:3, 4 says, I heard a loud shout from the throne saying, “Look, God’s home is now among His people! He will live with them, and they will be His people. God Himself will be with them. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
What a day that will be?! A day of rejoicing! A day and eternity of pure joy!
So hold tight my brothers and sisters! Stand firm in your faith! Do not be shaken or afraid, but be courageous! Because my God, your God, gives you a reason to shout and rejoice and to sing and to be joyful! Not just temporary or circumstantial…but in all things, rejoice and be joyful!
© 2021 Leslie Wittenmyer ~ All rights reserved