One of the many things we chase after as human beings is joy. I admit I seek joy just as much as the next person. Yet, as I’ve gotten older, and hopefully wiser, I have come to learn that I have sought out joy in the wrong places. No, I’m not saying I’ve sought out “friends (or joy) in low places!” But I have through the years looked to things or people for my joy.
You can’t find your joy in others. Other things, other places, or other people. If I only had this house, that car, or wore the right clothing. Or if I could go to this vacation spot, live in this area or have that job. If I could only marry this person, have that kind of family, hang out with those people.
Then I would be full of joy!
The house will need to be cared for and work done continuously, often for lots of money. The car will be the perfect car, well, until someone opens their car door into yours and leaves a huge ding and chips the paint. And clothes…they wear out, go out of style or (gasp) shrink!
The vacations bring joy while you’re there. After six months or so you are already yearning to go somewhere else again. The area you live in was the perfect neighborhood when you moved in, until the crummy neighbor arrived and changed the vibe of the whole street. The job, uh…we all know jobs come and go or co-workers can make that dream job not so dreamy after all!
The people – ah, the people. Family will let you down and friends may come and go. Eventually, they will hurt you. Sometimes the hurt is enough to divide a family or sever a relationship.
Until you realize that joy, . . .
Running and running, but never arriving. The One source I am speaking of is the One that is always there. Always loves you. Always stands by you.
That source is Jesus Christ, God’s son.
“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. “ (Psalm 27:10 NIV)
In the verse above, you could swap out the phrase “father and mother” for any other person…friend, sister, brother, child, etc. Eventually, they will let you down. They will forsake you. But God will not.
The stars in your eyes after buying the perfect home will diminish when the repairs begin or the neighborhood becomes less than ideal. The car begins to have issues and may from time to time be no longer reliable.
All of these things are just temporal. Do we need them? Yes, of course we do. Will they make us happy? Well, sometimes, but usually just for a short time. But will they really bring us joy? Nope!
When we look to others or things for joy that only Jesus can give, we will find ourselves feeling pretty empty. But Jesus, the One true source of joy, has promised to never, ever forsake or leave us. He will always be there for us.
Will He always give us whatever we want? Absolutely not! He has never promised that. But He has promised to give us what we need. And that is the promise of eternal life with Him for those who ask and receive.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV)
And that, my friends, is where your joy should come from! Knowing that this life is only temporal and that eternity (yeah—forever and ever) will be spent with the One true source of joy should be reason enough to develop a relationship with Jesus. He’s waiting and eager to spend that time with you.
Do you know the One who gives us joy?
Have you at times in your life sought after earthly joys that left you feeling empty?
I know I have.
Please leave your thoughts below in the comments. We’d love to hear what you have to say! Let’s talk about this thing called joy!
If you would like to read more about the joy that only comes from Christ, please check out Brenda McGraw’s book titled,
Joy Beyond, 28 Days to Finding Joy Beyond the Clutter of Life.
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