Happiness or Joy?

I just watched a video about joy. Happiness is reliant on an outcome, but joy is not a response to an outcome. It is a constant. – Matthew McConaughey. While I can appreciate such a strong sentiment, I don’t know that I believe that joy is constant. What is life without pain? Heartache? Loss? Do we find joy when we experience these emotions? I can honestly say that I don’t. It has not gone unnoticed that the Bible verse states, “the joy of the Lord is our strength.” I concur. However, I have a different take on it. Here it goes:

Regardless of what we experience the Lord is there with us. This brings us PEACE. “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, and The Prince of Peace.” In a world that has gone mad, where wrong is viewed as right, and gender is a social construct, the Lord brings us peace. Peace and joy walk hand in hand. Both come from God.

In the truest sense, living for God provides us with a peace that surpasses human understanding. This peace keeps us. Joy I believe is found in our hearts when God saves us. It is like an automatic download. When we truly follow God with our whole heart, then we experience joy. A half-hearted commitment to God does not allow us to experience joy. Because we always feel like there is something more to discover or experience. When you commit to following the Lord, nothing can shake the foundation that you are built upon.

Being dedicated to God and trying to follow His will brings us joy. We are human, and we make mistakes. However, God is just to forgive us. He is a God of second chances. In Ezekiel 18, He questions if Ezekiel thinks that He takes pleasure in people not turning from their sins. This shows us the compassion of God. The whole chapter is spent discussing the death penalty and forgiveness for our sins. The Bible says that the wages of sin is death. There is no easy way to say it. God may be just to forgive us, but repentance means to turn away from sin. Continuing to re-visit our sin makes a fool of God.

The greatest gift that God gave us is forgiveness of sins. He paid that price on Calvary. He made a path to salvation through His sacrifice. We should be ever thankful that our Savior was willing to pay this price. Otherwise we would all die lost and face the judgement of a wrathful God. The Bible is full of examples of God’s compassion. He said that David was a man after God’s own heart. When David had Uriah killed so he could take his wife, God forgave him. Still, there were consequences due to his actions. We may repent, but we still must pay.

In the end, we need peace and joy. Our lives would be dull in comparison if we did not experience happiness or joy.  How many people get to experience joy? It is my prayer that we all draw closer to Jesus, and that we all experience the peace that comes from being right with the Lord. God bless you all.

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