If you ask your friends – “What one thing do you want most in life?” – I’m sure their answers would come down to one popular answer – “happiness” ..
Everyone wants to be happy, and a life free of pain and suffering – RIGHT?
But happiness is usually subjective in nature and changes with one’s circumstances – “happiness” might come for a while after you are promoted or when you come from the doctor’s office and “good health” is the prognosis .. or when you spend a quality vacation or even a date – with someone you “love” ..
But there’s a problem with each of these, isn’t there? – What happens when the circumstances change? .. when you lose your job or your health, or discover your loved one has “cancer” – When these things happen, we can also very quickly change our tune and become unhappy. What does this mean? .. should happiness be our main goal in life? What does God’s Word say about “being happy” .. what we really should be seeking is “joy” in contrast to happiness, joy doesn’t depend on your circumstances – but upon your rel;ationship with God. We also know that happiness can be a by product of joy – but real joy won’t change with your circumstances. It does not matter if you are on the mountaintop or in the valley, abundance or loss The JOY of The Lord will last.
The apostle Paul said it best in Philippians 4:12, I know what it’s like not to have what I need. I also know what it’s like to have more than I need. I have learned the secret of being content no matter what happens. I am content whether I am well fed or hungry. I am content whether I have more than enough or not enough. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find that kind of joy in our lives?
The GOOD NEWS – You can! And you only need to look in the Word of God. Start reading the book of Philippians, and see what God has for you and count the different times that the words joy or rejoice are mentioned. Joy in suffering? Joy in serving? Joy in believing? Joy in giving? Joy in all circumstances? – But what is the “secret” source of all this “joy” ? .. The secret is in the key verse of Philippians 4:4 – Always be joyful because you belong to the Lord. I will say it again. Be joyful. You see, true joy is found “in the Lord Jesus and your relationship with Him .. when we can know Him intimately, trust Him wholeheartedly, and treasure Him above all things, you and I will have real joy in our lives. And that “joy” will not depart from us – when life gets difficult because the Spirit of Jehovah Shammah will not allow it when life gets difficult. Take hold of the wonderful, supernatural joy that Our Father gives to you through Jesus Christ – the very “fullness” of Jehovah Shammah become man .. and whatever your situation might be, you will find contentment. And then you will find joy! True, lasting, and unchanging joy!