Question of the Week: Why does God promise joy when we follow Him, yet always leave me feeling unhappy?
Joy isn’t happiness. If you’re looking for joy, you first need to know what you’re looking for in order to recognize whether you have it or not. Joy is defined as hope fulfilled. It is a peace found through assurance and confidence that your hope isn’t being misplaced. The best example of this, as always, is Jesus when He was on the cross. According to Hebrews 12:2, Jesus went to the cross with joy. He wasn’t happy about the process, but the joy of having you and I with Him forever as a result of that action gave Him the confidence and peace to endure it. He trusted His Father to know what price needed to be paid for our salvation. From that faith, His reasons to trust the Father, He had joy. If you want to hear a more accurate promise of joy, hear what Paul promises those who rejoice in God.
Philippians 4:6-7: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
As a result of a prayerful and thankful lifestyle, the peace of God will guard your heart and mind. That is joy. This peace passes all understanding. It can even take place when you’re not happy. Remember that happiness isn’t the pursuit of the Christian life. It isn’t even necessarily joy. They are simply results of having the true prize. That’s Jesus. If you have Him, you have peace. That’s real joy.
A Reason For Hope is a ministry of Calvary Christian Fellowship of Tucson
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