Sunday, June 1, 2014
LORD, I AM AMAZED BY YOU - JOY
Do we often get these two things confused - Joy and Happiness? We do and while the world around us may merge both concepts and call them the same, the follower of Christ should be aware of the difference. The contrast between the two could not be more stark.
The world says if you follow this formula - go to school for over a decade; get an education; get a driver's licence and go to college AND graduate, when then, you can have the big dream. THEN you would be happy.
The dream life is the three bedroom ranch with an entertainment room in the basement.
The dream life is the job paying $65,000 right off the bat and a new car.
The dream life is the beautiful spouse and 2 1/2 children (what does this 1/2 look like?) and the annual vacation in Myrtle Beach. Well how is that working out now? Politicians and the culture killed that dream and our young people are now stuck with massive college debt paid to fat and rich uber-liberal college professors. They have no prospects for that future. All of that "dream" stuff was supposed to last into perpetuity and make our children happy. Now make no bones, some of it is still possible, but it is the subject of another essay.
For everybody else, the marketing gurus and the culture and the society tell us if we have the latest Bowflex machine; the latest tablet computer; the latest smartphone; the latest fast car; the Cruise we can't afford; the latest ....(fill in the blanks)...we will be happy, happy, happy!
Can all of this make us feel good? Yes, a new iPad or laptop or SUV will make us feel really good! There is nothing wrong with working all year and getting some time away from the grind with a week in a cabin by a lake or down by Gulf Shores, Alabama. Just do not confuse this with Joy! This is material and even emotional temporary 'happiness' which is about as fleeting as a full tank of gas on a 15 hour trip to the coast.
God calls us to something more permanent, real and which is exclusively FOR you, designed with YOU in mind and which is pure, undefiled and CAN NEVER BE TAKEN AWAY by ANYONE - none! No one, no government, no person, no demonic force from the prince and the power of the air, can take this away.
THIS IS CALLED - JOY!
Joy is not only a feeling. Joy is an attribute and a permanent condition of the Heart of the Follower of the Lord, through the Only Way possible - Jesus Christ!
Joy is the blessed assurance that not only that Jesus is yours - as Lord and Savior - but He is your defense; your comfort; your shield; your protector and your Guide.
Joy is the state of consciousness where a river of peace flows through you; while the waves of turbulence in a corrupt and perishing world lash against the sides of the Ship of your Life.
Joy is the absolute knowledge that whatever befalls us when those trying times and tribulation hit, that our citizenship is not on this current earth but in the New Jerusalem, the New Creation, the New Kingdom of 1000 years.
Joy is that peace that passes ALL understanding.
I can do on and on about this and will, on another occasion. Suffice it for now that we can discern the Will of our Amazing Lord and then have true happiness - God's Way. Joy is that kind of "happiness" if you will. Joy is not some temporary sort of dependence which more and more unbelieving masses of millions look for, when they put their faith in politicians and corrupt people for their sustenance and happiness. Joy is peace, and until you have that, there will just no joy in "Mudville". There will be no peace, no justice and no true and God-ordained happiness. Amen.
The following promises of Scripture affirm our status as joyful children of God who can stand in that gap of Peace knowing His Word is true, because HE is Faithful and True! Meditate on them:
Psalm 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in You rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because You
defend them: let them also that love Your Name be joyful in You.
Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life: in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Psalm 22:3 But You are holy, 0 You that inhabits the praises of Israel.
Psalm 30:5 Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.
Psalm 34:1,2 I will bless the Lord at all times: His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord:the humble shall hear and be glad.
Psalm 35:9 And my soul shall be joyful in the Lord: it shall rejoice in His salvation.
Psalm 40:16 Let all those that seek You rejoice and be glad in You: let such as love Your salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified.
Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, 0 daughter of Zion; shout 0 daughter of Jerusalem: behold, your King comes to you: He is just, and having salvation.
Matthew 5:11,12 Blessed are you, when men shall revile you..... Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven.
John 15:11 These things have I spoken to you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace...
Ephesians 5:18,19 Be filled with the Spirit. Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 Rejoice always.
James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations.
Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give