What is Joy?

I have spent an extensive amount of time demonstrating failure: broken promises, shallow friends, painted faces, and skin deep beauty. All of these point towards despair. If we can’t find lasting joy in popularity with society or looking beautiful, then where can we find it? The answer can be stated in a single word:

Jesus.

So simple, but so profound. Everything else will disintegrate into distant memories once we die, even as special it may seem.
Nothing else lasts. Psalms 49:16-17 says,
“Be not afraid when a man becomes rich,
when the glory of his house increases.
For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him.”

But this one name, Jesus, speaks volumes.

A man who sacrificed his life for each of us in our sinful state. Christ, who conquered death once and for all. God, who created the entire world yet still values us over any other part of his masterpiece. A father who adopted us into his family. A friend who will stick with us forever, no matter our situation. A companion who sees us as beautiful and intelligent regardless of what we may seem on the outside. Lord, who will govern our lives in a way that is glorifying to Him.

That is the epitome of joy. The center of hope. The fullness of peace.

And all we have to do is accept him. John 3:16 proves this. It is arguably the most memorized and repeated passage in the Bible, but it is because it is so true: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Jesus will greet us with ecstasy and love, even if we feel we don’t deserve it. He made the universe in seven days so that we could enjoy it for a short time; but has been creating heaven for at least 2000 years, for we will be spending eternity there.

He loves us. He cares for us. We can find joy in knowing that. When all else fades, he will remain.

That is why I may write in a depressing fashion. I write about reality. I write about the things that won’t bring lasting joy. I show how they fail miserably, because it is such a massive contrast to true joy: joy that isn’t based on what we take for ourselves in this life, but what we receive from Jesus. We get eternal life, unending hope, and incomprehensible peace. We get Jesus. If we turn to Him, our pockets will be full with the eternal things he offers, not what the world may tempt us with.

It won’t be easy, however. Life is not a stroll in the park being a Christian. We still face persecution and trials. But through all of that, if we hang onto Christ, He will carry us through. And that kind of joy is what is truly desirable. Jesus is standing in front of you with open arms.

All you have to do is say yes.

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