What brings you joy in life? There are going to be many responses to that question. Family brings joy, friends and relationships are a source of joy, work can be joyful, a hobby is often an opportunity to do something that is joyful. The list goes on.
Joy can be found in small things—a letter from a friend, a thank you note, an invitation to join someone for an event.
Joy can be found in achievement and accomplishment—graduating from High School or College, getting a promotion, finishing a project that has been ongoing for weeks or months.
There can be joy in quietness and solitude—a time to get away and think and evaluate.
That which brings joy is highly individualized. What I might really enjoy could be a source of boredom or irritation to someone else.
I think we would agree that everyone desires joy in their lives. People will strive for and spend a lifetime trying to get the elusive feeling or euphoria that they believe will satisfy and bring joy.
As believers we do not need to be on a relentless and endless pursuit of joy. We have that which brings joy. Many years ago there was a christian song that had this phrase, “only Jesus can satisfy your soul.” Jesus brings joy, He is our joy.
Have we drifted from that in our Christian lives? Jesus satisfies. But not really…not for many believers. It is easy to look to entertainment or some of the things that were previously mentioned instead of Jesus.
Sometimes Jesus is relegated to Sunday worship or to some lower status than we profess. It is subtle but we can become satisfied with that which does not satisfy!
Over 40 years ago Warren Wiersbe published a short commentary on the book of Philippians. It was entitled “Be Joyful”….it beats being happy. On the cover of my very old copy it said, “Happiness depends on right happenings, but even when things go wrong, you can have joy.” The apostle Paul understood what it meant to be joyful in the worst of circumstances as he wrote the book of Philippians. [You might even want to read Wiersbe’s commentary, part of his “Be” series.]
Regardless of your circumstances, you can be a joyful christian. There is no reason not to be. But too often we look for what only Jesus can give somewhere outside of Himself.
John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Take inventory of your life. Are you truly joyful and satisfied with Jesus only? Are you trying to find joy in something or someone else. It will never happen. That which satisfies the soul of man is only the eternal Son of God.
I would encourage you to read Paul’s letter to the Philippians. He had joy in Jesus in very difficult circumstances. So can you and I!!
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
Dr. Wynne Kimbrough is the editor of this resource.
Some of the articles are written by him while others are found and shared with permission from the original authors. Some of of these authors wish to remain anonymous.