Summary: It has been said that “Joy is the surest sign of the presence of God.” Or it has been said that “Joy is the flag that flies over the castle of our hearts announcing that the King is in residence today!”
What is your greatest joy? Is there something that continually brings joy to you? Or, if you were to look back over your whole life to determine what brought you the greatest joy, what would it be?
I believe that true joy only comes from our Creator. When our earth was formed, it was created to bring us joy. When God made us in His image, he gave us dominion over all of the living things on earth, on land, in the waters and in the air. He created the world for us, so we would glorify and honor Him in all that we do. God looked down and saw everything that He had made, and it was good. I’m sure He was well pleased. What God wanted most when He created us was for us to be in relationship with Him. It is no different for us today. To be in relationship with God is the single most important aspect of our lives. It brings joy to God, and we in turn receive a joyful heart when we bring others to a relationship with Him.
Remember the parable of the lost sheep? Jesus challenged the Pharisees when He spoke of having one hundred sheep, and losing one, just one. Jesus asked, “Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine and scour the wilderness in search of the lost sheep? And after finding it, wouldn’t you pick it up, lay it around your shoulders and carry it home rejoicing. And when you got home, wouldn’t you call all of your friends and family and ask them to rejoice with you. You would be filled with joy having found your one lost sheep.” And then Jesus said something else quite profound. “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in Heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.”
In the first chapter of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Philippi, he writes about joy. In the book of Acts, we read about the events that took place in Philippi, specifically having to do with Paul. All of these events could have produced sorrow, but instead brought joy to his heart. He was illegally arrested and beaten, placed in stocks and humiliated before the people. But these memories brought joy to Paul because he understood the bigger picture. He knew where he would be spending eternity.
Conditional joy cannot be true joy. If so, Paul would not have written encouraging, joy filled letters. He would have written that once he was free from affliction, joy would once again return to his life. Godly joy must be unconditional. Finding true joy cannot include the words “if” or “then”.
I have been spending time lately with a man named Ray who has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He has been given only a few more months to live. Do you know how he is spending his days? He is actively searching of ways to bring joy to others, to help others in his situation, to offer encouragement to everyone he encounters. He is finding joy in life in each one of his numbered days. A good lesson for us all.
Serving others, this is the source of finding Godly joy. It has been said that “Joy is the surest sign of the presence of God.” Or it has been said that “Joy is the flag that flies over the castle of our hearts announcing that the King is in residence today!”