Happiness comes and goes depending on your circumstances. I got a new job! Yay! There is a lot more work and responsibility! Boo! I have a new baby! Yay! He keeps me up screaming all night! Boo! So, how do we find long-lasting joy?
Joy manifests only when we rest in God’s promises and we are transformed to be more like Christ. It is based on our relationship with Christ and is not affected by our circumstances. It is not until we stop chasing happiness and start chasing Christ that we will experience true joy.
"Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."
When we value Christ more than temporary treasures on earth, we open ourselves up to the permanency of joy.
Today, I am forced to comply with God’s will for my life. At this moment, that involves suffering with this disease of ALS at the cost of my own personal happiness. Does that mean that I am not joyful? No! I can be joyful always because I have Christ with me and I know where I am going!
I am at the age where for my birthday, I am not really into the presents. I am more about the relationships with those around me. I think it is the same way with Jesus. He is really not that interested in what you do, but more interested in spending time with you.
When I say spending time, I mean just talking to Him. He wants to be involved in your life just like I want to be involved in the lives of the people around me.
It is not complicated. Following Jesus should not be difficult. If it is, then you have missed it!
0 = Nothing
To have joy, there must be nothing between you and Jesus.
In order to find joy, you have to find Christ first! Then you must surrender your life to Him and allow Him to be in control. Until you are able to do that, joy will always evade you.