“Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and reassure our hearts before him whenever our hearts condemn us, we have confidence before God; and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.” (1 John 3: 18-24)
The truth of the matter in today’s world is that we don’t seem to have enough joy in our lives to keep us flourishing. There are so many obstacles and roadblocks being thrown in our path it often feels as if we’ll never see the end of them. There are so many out there that will stop at nothing to deprive us from that joy because so often their own lives lack joy and because of this feel as if no one else has a right to something they don’t have.
However, as believers in Christ, we all should remember that the truth lies in the One who is the Truth, and that’s Jesus and Jesus doesn’t want our lives to be void of the joy of life which is Christ Himself. Yes, it’s true it can be extremely difficult to rise above difficult circumstances when we live in a world in which would prefer to keep us in the dark, those who live in the dark somehow believe that they can’t be seen in the dark and they can continue on in ignoring or denying the fact that there is a Greater Power, what they don’t seem to realize that the darkness in which they hide and wish for us to be trapped in with them, the light of Christ can penetrate through that darkness because there is no place you can hide from God at. We need to fight the dark and cling onto the Light, when we do that He will show us where the joy lies, He will show us that there is joy all around us and it starts with the truth that He and He alone created us and everything around us and He gave up EVERYTHING He had to walk among us, teach us, love us, and die for us.
Through His sacrifice He brought us joy in death knowing that because of His sacrifice our souls have a chance to live on forever in His kingdom. That alone should cause us to wake every morning with a glimmer of hope. But He also wants us to look around us at everything that He has provided for us. No matter where you might be you can see His love and His joy in all of creation. He wants us to listen to the joy in songs of birds, the fluttering of the wings of butterflies, in the sun rising and setting and the beauty that comes for that alone should fill our hearts with wonder and joy.
A spring shower that lightly falls to freshen the day and the flowers swaying gently in the breeze should be taken in and enjoyed. Rolling thunder in the distance and a flash of lightning should be a reminder of the power of God and how all of creation responds to His commands. The truth is that we need to pay attention to the smallest details around us and understand that every little thing He has created has been created through joy and that joy should fill our hearts and souls. We just need to stop, take a deep breath and slow down our minds and take it all in. I’ll admit in times such as the ones we live in today, it can be very difficult to find joy in such small things, I admit I far too often overlook the beauty of God that’s all around me, and that’s a shame because it means my heart and soul are being deprived of what Jesus wants for me, for all of us.
But if you want to discover joy in something bigger then we should remember what He did for us, He left the beauty of heaven in order to walk with His creation and not only be our Creator but He became our Friend so that we wouldn’t be afraid to put our full trust in Him. He became our Friend who was willing to give up His life so that our sins could be washed away by His blood. Having Him as our Friend and knowing that if we rely on His guidance we can maneuver through all of the obstacles and roadblocks this world throws in our way, should be the biggest reason why we have joy in our hearts and souls!
If we want the joy that Jesus wants for us to have, then we need to make sure that we ALWAYS put Jesus first, Others second, and You last and we’ll discover how quickly the flood gates of JOY will fill our hearts and souls! And this JOY comes from Christ abiding within each of us and we abiding in Him!