He keeps turning my eye here. I try to focus on other things in this world or his kingdom and he keeps pointing me to this thing called happiness, this thing called Joy. Perhaps the wide road is the one of worry, fear, anxiety and frustration and the narrow road of heaven we’re actually invited to traverse upon could just be the road of trust, peace, contentment, love, rest and joy.
Joy somehow sparkles with glory and a supernatural existence; it is a gift of heaven without limit and often overlooked. Joy has a lowly state. It is often seen as ignorance or immaturity. Serious, urgent things are looked upon with esteem and great importance. But Joy is not news. It is not urgent. It does not fight for power. Joy is meek and unassuming. It is persistent and unexpected, playful and a welcomed guest.
There are things we must chose to not give attention to in order to participate in Joy. We must look away from the fears of our own condition and any worries ahead. We must turn away from decisions gone awry behind us. Joy requires us, or allures us rather to be entirely present once again. We must let go of performance in it’s company. It is participation with someone wholly other than ourselves. A different source from which this magical river flows; Jesus’ side.
It is God’s expressed desire for our Joy to be full, not finding lack in our experience of this wonderful gift of heaven. But the realist would ask, what is Joy’s purpose? How is it productive or long lasting? Joy is a fruit to be enjoyed, not to be made into a gadget for a machine to use. It’s expression is as purposeful as the beauty of a flower. It is meant to be enjoyed.
The treasure map to finding joy is clearly shown in scripture. Psalm 16 says the fullness of Joy is found in God’s presence. Everlasting pleasure is found at his right hand. Not on this earth or in a thing or an activity or a person, but in God’s company. His nearness, his friendship. Where can you find his will for your emotions? In the goodness, safety, commitment and gladness of himself!
So many things can happen in life that deter our hearts from this child-like track. Perceived failures, tragic losses, disappointed expectations, and hurtful betrayal are just to name a few. The eternal part of joy is that we don’t derive it from what we see around us, what people are saying, or doing. We derive it from his presence within us. It is truly powerful and absolutely unassailable. Nothing has truly threatened or will ever be able to take away this gift of Joy that has been given to us through Christ Jesus. He has overcome everything that claims to have overcome his presence in your walk with him in this life. His Joy is yours. His Joy is mine. And it endures.