Joy pt. 1

With the end of the year here, and my resolution to blog more (at least once a week), I decided to start early and strong. I have been studying the topic of "joy" and wanted to share what God is teaching me. According to dictionary.com, joy is: "the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying." While that's a fine definition, my simple mind needs to boil it down to something even simpler: "happiness without end." Either one works for starting this conversation. We all want to experience this kind of joy and somehow don't. I had to ask the question why. As I dug into Scripture, I found at least 3 reasons why we don't experience joy. This post answers the first part of the question.

We don't experience joy because we don't know where to truly find it. We (or at the very least, I) don't experience soul-satisfying joy because we don't know where to find it. We think true joy is found in the accumulation of things, or amassing more friends. The Bible teaches that the kind of joy we really need is found in being in God's presence. The book of Psalms reminds us that in God: - there is the "fullness of joy" (Psalm 16:11). - there is "exceeding joy" (Psalm 43:4). Why? What is it about God's presence that offers us joy? The answer is, His work. Continuing in Psalms, God reminds us that: - joy results from His work (Psalm 92:4). - joy is specifically found in salvation (Psalm 51:12). So what are we talking about? We are talking about God dealing with our biggest problem, sin. We are talking about the Gospel. We are talking about Christ destroying sin and death through His work on the cross (Hebrews 12:2)! No matter what we do, we can't wash, scrape, or blast off the stain of sin. Joy, true soul satisfying joy, is found in the completed work of Christ. When I receive Christ as Lord and Savior, I am freed from the weight of the punishment my sin deserves. Christ paid the price for all my sin! The worry I had over my sin, is gone. I am free to enter the thrown room of God and be at peace with my Creator.

There is no better place to experience true joy than in the loving hands of God. This may seem easy to understand, but the more time we spend in the Gospel, the more we understand that we don't always stay there. Our sinful heart pulls us away form where joy is found, pulls us away from God. But that's what the next post is about, stay tuned ...

Joy pt. 2 - Why we don't experience it

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