The man stood before me and yelled, “All I want is to be happy.”
When he calmed himself, he told me what his concept of being happy was. He described the elusive good life: freedom from any suffering, being prosperous, and seeking personal pleasure with an expectation of constant positive and pleasant emotions. He blamed his wife and children for his unhappiness and, in the process, had lost his family.
Unfortunately, this sense of shallow and false well-being and contentment is fleeting and fickle because it depends on outward circumstances.
Joy is a quality independent of outward circumstances—a deep abiding with God. Joy is part of the nature and the character of God, and, once fully embraced in our spirit and residing in our heart, is permanent. That is why James exhorts us to “consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing the testing of your faith produces endurance” (James 1:2-3).
Nehemiah says the joy of the Lord is our strength. The devil can try to rob us of our happiness but cannot touch our joy. Joy is a state of actual being. It is the merciful kindness by which God exerts His holy influence upon us, turning us to Christ Jesus.
Joy keeps, strengthens, increases faith and knowledge, and kindles our spirits to exercise Christian values. “O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill, and to Your dwelling places. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God” (Psalm 43:3-4).
This Christmas season, draw close to Jesus, and He will draw close to you. Allow the joy of the Father to fill you to overflowing.
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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