My sweet friends, today I want to talk with you about true joy . . . not “happiness”, not “contentment,” not some strange giddy “feeling” . . . but real, living, deep, and soul–penetrating JOY.
Today, many of us around the world are experiencing greater prosperity than has been witnessed in recent history. Yet with all this, there seems to be little expression and little experience of true joy. Why is it that we can’t find any real satisfaction? How can it be that so many of us “still haven’t found what we’re looking for?” I believe that the answer is shockingly simple and also quite difficult for most of us to accept.
You see, sweet friends, true joy is found only in and through a deep and abiding relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives. YES, I said it! If you want to know true joy, you must know and submit yourself to Christ as LORD: LORD (Heb. YAHWEH/Gk. – ego eimi – the GREAT I AM) as in GOD Himself; Lord (Gk. Kyrios – Master) and Master of your life and of your every moment! YES friends, Jesus is Savior, Friend, Prince of Peace, Wonderful, Counselor, Healer, Helper, and so much more. But friends, the Incarnate Christ was first, and most importantly revealed to us by the angel Gabriel as JESUS, Savior (Matthew 1:21), Emanuel, GOD with us (Matthew 1:23), Eternal King (Luke 1:32-33), Son of God (Luke 1:32, 33, & 35), and Lord and Master (Luke 1:17).
In Luke 2:11, an angel of the Lord, possibly again the angel Gabriel, announced to the shepherds “there is born to you this day, in the City of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Gk. Kyrios – Master). Many years later, after Christ had ascended to the Father, Peter preached the first Christian sermon in history and proclaimed to the people, “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord (Gk. Kyrios – Master) and Christ” (Acts 2:36). Finally, Paul the apostle, and the first Christian Missionary, explained the truth of the Gospel in this way: “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord (Gk. Kyrios – Master), and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). All of this says that Christ is Lord!
My friends, if Christ is Lord and Master, if He is GOD, and GOD with us, if He is the GREAT I AM (John 8:58), how and why do we expect Him to be less to us, and in us, than He is? We so long to receive His blessing, His peace, His gracious presence, and YES, His JOY; and yet we remain so empty and listless (disinterested, devoid of energy and spirit), because we refuse to get still and KNOW Him as our GOD (Psalm 46:10). Because we do not wish to have Him meddle in our daily lives, we resist reading His Word daily and spending quality time with Him each day in prayer; and the pain and loneliness we feel grows stronger day by day.
What we fail to recognize is that the One Who created us, made us for fellowship with Him. As Blaise Pascal (the famous French mathematician and philosopher) explained, “there is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus.”
Today I have a dare for you! I dare you to get still enough, for long enough, to hear His still small voice through daily time in His Word and in prayer. And, I further dare you, to welcome His Word to you as it is, the sweet revelation of His perfect plan for your life, and to welcome Him, as Who He is, the God of the Universe, the Lord and Great Lover of your soul, and the true JOY GIVER!
In His presence there is fullness of JOY; at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
May the Lord BLESS you and KEEP you! May He make His face to shine upon you and give you His peace, and His JOY, until we meet again! (Numbers 6:24-25) In JESUS’ precious, and HOLY NAME! AMEN and AMEN!
About the Writer:
Tiffany is a cross-cultural missionary, Bible teacher, speaker, writer, and worship leader. More than anything, she desires to be one ‘who like a tree planted by the rivers of water, brings forth its fruit in due season, whose leaves do not wither, and have whatever she does prosper’(Psalm 1:3). She is committed to abiding continually in Christ, the vine, so that she may bear much fruit in, and for Him (John 15:5).