Joy is the ever elusive quality in most of our lives. It may be that many of us have settled for being happy, even if that is a fleeting reality. Joy is unlike anything else in the human experience. The reason for this is that joy is not founded on the circumstances of life. Many of us have heard this definition before. What happens many times is this, we have confused the source of our joy with the toys of our happiness.
God did not send Jesus into this world to satisfy our childish longings. Jesus came into this world to provide us a means to experience eternal joy. The gift of God in Jesus to us is access to an elevated perspective. When we see how God was working out our salvation in the cross of Calvary, we are led to a deeper sense of purpose and power. The Gospel Jesus preached was not so we would feel better about ourselves. The purpose of the Gospel is to help us grow in our appreciation of God and what he has done and will bring to completion in us!
God is not interested in merely keeping us out of hell. God wants to infuse our being with a clear vision of himself. When we see him as he is, we are drawn ever closer, like a moth to a flame. We can not help ourselves. We have been found so that we can be lost in him.
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure. —1 John 3:2-3
John apparently had an expectation that one day, he would see Jesus again. This expectation was based on Jesus’ promise to return. The reality of Jesus coming back was so fixed in John’s mind that he admonished the recipients of his letter to consider the implications of this future event. As far as John was concerned, what was to come was so magnificent and so wonderful, that it became the catalyst for living in a manner worthy of that coming event. Our hope of what is coming will be what fuels the fire of our joy, sustaining and stoking it to greater intensity.
I am learning that our joy should be an ever increasing, constantly intensifying reality in our lives. Is this true for you? If not, what needs to change today so that tomorrow will be different?