What is it that brings you JOY?
Some would say their job brings them joy.
Some would say the beauty of nature like a colorful sunset or a starry night brings them joy.
A special hobby brings other people joy. Writing this early on a Sunday morning gives me joy!
Most of us would say our children or families bring us joy!
A Measure of Joy
While its true, all of these life experiences bring us comfort, happiness, fulfillment, and a measure of joy, none of them can make our joy complete! These things can change. They are temporary and won’t last. When hard times come, this incomplete joy will fade and could give way to discouragement.
When Hard Times Come
Life has a funny way of sneaking up on you, right? Family worries, financial uncertainties, job stresses, relationship drama….not to mention political and cultural upheaval, pandemics…the list goes on and on.
If we’re not careful, we very easily turn to those things that make us feel better. They give us a measure of joy- a taste of joy- a blessing from God, for sure. But those blessings are still incomplete.
Turning to short term blessings becomes our default response like an emotional or spiritual Tylenol. We experience discomfort or pain, and we look to our family or friends or something happy around us to make us feel better.
However, it doesn’t last.
True, deep, abiding joy that isn’t based life’s experiences or circumstances can only come from one place.
Complete joy can only come from Abiding in Christ!
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.John 15:9-11
Making your joy complete even in hard places
Our source of complete joy only comes from Jesus. Eternal joy that does not fade only comes from abiding in Him. Remaining in His Love is the only way true joy will last.
Different versions of the bible use different words- abiding in, remaining in. The image of Jesus being the Vine, and we are His branches helps us to visualize that we must be connected to Him as our source of nourishment and existence. If not, we whither, dry up, and are cut away.
Remaining in God’s Love. Soaking in God’s Love. Thirsting for God’s Love. Resting in God’s Love.
His Love is the ONLY thing that will satisfy. It’s the ONLY thing that will make our joy complete!
When it feels like the world is on fire all around us and pain and suffering are constant visitors among us, digging deep into God’s love, searching for God’s Love is the only thing that will last!
There’s so much hard stuff going on these days, so I bet most of us could use more joy. I know I do!
Over the next couple of months, I’ll be sharing about some Heroes of the Faith, and how despite their difficult circumstances, they experienced joy. Keep checking back here during September and October as we discover more.
Also in September, join me in the WoW Facebook group while we’re studying Philippians as we discover how Paul experienced joy in hard times.
In the meantime, check out these other posts on God’s Love:
What has been your experience with God making your joy complete even in hard places?
Leave me a comment! I’d love to hear about it!