Sometimes it feels almost impossible to be happy for two days in a row in this world. There is always something horrible going on somewhere that steals our joy. We are surrounded by people who are ill, people whose lives are falling apart or people who suffer from financial depression. And the global disasters are frightful! How do we keep a happy heart in this world?
The problem that many of us have is that we succumb to the problems of the world because we subconsciously think that this is it. It’s just part of life. And while it’s true that the things that trouble us are part of this world, they are not part of who we are. And when we accept them as normal, the joy in our heart leaves, one fragment at a time, until we feel as hopeless as the world.
The world doesn’t receive the Spiritual things from God; it survives on emotions—good and bad. Businesses cater to our emotional desires. We are surrounded with a smorgasbord of foods to appease the pallet and our mood. We have an array of prescription drugs to deal with our emotional issues. Entertainment succeeds because it’s totally based on our emotions. Even our home decorations follow our emotional mind. And how many of us complain about our job because we don’t feel emotionally comfortable with it? Too stressful, can’t deal with the people, don’t like the boss, don’t want to step outside of our comfort zone of security.
However, as Christians, the joy that we have should never be based on emotions because they can attack our peace and our thoughts. If our attitudes change with the wind to deal with situations, and we find ourselves hoping for the things of this world to make us happy, then perhaps it’s time to change our directive. Perhaps it’s time to get back to basics and start all over again with God.
Heartfelt joy does not come from anything that this world has to offer because it’s all conditional. It’s all temporary, and it all comes with a cost. Why? Because it’s all conditional upon Satan’s plan for our lives. He works at us through our emotions and through the lusts of the flesh, and all for one reason: so he can control us like puppets. When our joy is based on what this world can do for us—the world he rules over—then he will spend our lifetime dangling a false hope in front of us, and we will never be happy because he is a deceiver. He wants to steal us from God, and what better way than to domineer our emotions?
God is the same yesterday, today and forever, and He is faithful and just, and He loves us unconditionally. In fact, He loved us before we were even born. God came from a Holy Heaven and took on the form of a man so He could live in this sinful world and die on the cross to take away the sins that separate us from Him. There is no greater love than this!
As Christians, we need to study the Bible and spend time in prayer and worship so that we can know God. When He is only a Sunday God to us, then we don’t have a personal relationship with Him. Being a Christian means accepting Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and it’s a personal commitment. It means that we want to be with Him all the time. We will rise each morning and greet the Lord, spend time in prayer and worship, and in reading the Bible, and we’ll live our day knowing that God is with us. Then everything we say, do and think will be a testimony of who God is in us. Then we will have a joy in our heart that nothing in this world can take away!
- But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.—Psalm 5:11
Our strength to survive in this world comes from the joy of knowing Jesus. Joy leads our way because we know that God is greater than our problems and that Jesus overcame the world when He defeated and judged Satan at Calvary.
- These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.—John 16:33
And to us who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, our hope is in God alone. He removes the sinful nature that belongs to this world and fills us with His Spirit! Our joy comes from being part of His Kingdom, and our King is faithful and just. He loves us, and He’s defeated the enemy already for us. And when we put God first in our lives, then we are at peace because we know that nothing is impossible to God and that nothing can separate us from Him anymore.
When the joy of God’s love is deep in our heart, regardless of what goes on around us we know that God loves us and that His love for us will never change. We will see beyond this world and its sorrows, and into the future that God has promised to us. We have a home in Heaven where we’ll spend eternity with Jesus and with loved ones who know Him. And while we’re here on earth, He will care for us and protect us.
When this truth is embedded in our heart, we see beyond what the world has for us because it won’t matter; our heart is with Jesus and it’s filled with His unspeakable joy!
- Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.—Psalm 32:11