What Is Your Source of Joy?
Our hearts are created for joy that the world cannot give or take away
Only about a third of Americans say that they are happy.
Each year Time Magazine conducts a study asking Americans about their happiness. For the last ten years, the results have been very consistent: only about a third of Americans respond that they are happy. Other studies have similar results.
How can this be?
Our nation is one of the richest in the world. We are living longer than ever before. From a worldly perspective, we have all the ingredients for happiness. And yet, how many of us are truly happy? How many of us have true joy?
Our worldly blessings do not always bring joy.
For example, we have more options for entertainment than ever before: hundreds of television channels, video streaming over the internet, and ways to connect by social media. But are we happier? Instead of bringing joy, don’t these things often make us feel lonely or unfulfilled? Even though we are surrounded by so many worldly blessings, why are we so often without joy?
The apostle Paul had the opposite experience.
During his ministry, he experienced tremendous sufferings in his efforts to share Christ: persecution, physical beatings, constant rejection, and even shipwrecks! (2 Cor 11) And yet he was a man filled with joy. He could even encourage his readers, “Rejoice always! I say it again, rejoice!” (Phil 4:4)
Paul’s experience shows us that there is a deeper source of joy which comes from God.
There are many things that help us feel happiness or joy in a particular moment, such as spending time with a friend or winning a championship game. But most of the joys given by the world only last for a while, or the sources of joy can be taken away or lost.
All of us desire a deep, authentic joy that cannot be taken away.
The good news is that this desire can actually be fulfilled!
God placed this yearning in our hearts so we can start to seek him out. All of the beautiful and good things which we experience in our lives are meant to point us to him, so we can experience the even deeper joy that comes from knowing him.
Christians should be happy, joy-filled people!
In the coming weeks, we will be sharing some of our reasons for joy as Christians. We hope that you will find these messages an encouragement and an inspiration.