I truly believe that God desires for His children to be happy, joyful and blessed. Let’s not confuse this God-given joy with worldly happiness. Worldly happiness often involves money, fame, fortune, great career, material things, status, and even health. Don’t get me wrong, many people who have these things are happy and sadly don’t see their need for God because they feel they already ‘have it all’. The only problem with that is they don’t see that without God they will face eternal hell. (this is one reason why it is so dangerous to preach and teach ‘health, wealth and prosperity’) The Bible says in Matthew 6:19-20, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
As you can see there is a huge difference between the joy that God gives and what the world thinks ‘joy’ is. As I have said before being a Christian doesn’t mean instant happiness and success. It doesn’t mean bad things never happen. Things will not be perfect and rosy. Just a look at Jesus’ followers in the Bible proves that because many of them were persecuted and martyred for their faith. Now.. joy and peace handed down from the Creator Himself….

Where do we get this joy and peace that “surpasses all understanding”? From putting our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Romans 15:13 says- “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” In our world today there isn’t much hope without Jesus. In fact, if you know God’s Word, there isn’t any hope at all without Jesus. But with Jesus Christ we can ‘abound {overflow} with hope’! And did you notice the word all in front of joy! What a powerful, yet so tiny, 3 letter word! Don’t you just love it when you notice something like that for the first time!

There are so many people out there hurting. They feel like all hope is gone, they have no where to turn. They may have even thought God might be the answer but because of false truths that are being taught in so many churches they think that even that is a lost cause. Their dreams have been crushed along life’s road and now they are just making it.. just getting by. How my heart breaks for those who do not have the joy of knowing Jesus Christ! I read something today out of my Breaking Free book by Beth Moore (which really inspired this whole thought process) that really spoke to me. Here is an excerpt out of Chapter 27 ~ To Life Happily Ever After:

“God surpasses our dreams when we reach past our personal plans and agendas to
grab the hand of Christ and walk the path He has chosen for us. He is obligated
to keep us dissatisfied until we come to Him and His plan for complete
satisfaction.”

Wow! That is the key! We forsake our plans and cling to Him. It’s complete dependence on Him. Oh, but how we love our independence!! “I can do it all on my own, I don’t need help!” I want to be so dependant on Him and that I can’t move a step without His help! This is the key to joy! This is the key to hope everlasting and an abundance of peace, peace like a river!

I’d like to close out this little post with some of the key verses that Beth (notice how I act like she’s my BFF) uses throughout this whole book.

Isaiah 61:1-3 – “The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, Because the LORD has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

I love the last verse! Jesus came to give so much to us if we would just take it! Comfort, beauty, joy, a garment of praise, so that we may be called ‘trees of righteousness’.. planted by God himself for His glory! The *true* Christian life is not sad or boring! It’s abundant and joyful, even in the midst of strife and pain there is true joy and peace! And that joy and peace is eternal!

Do you know Him?
I would love to introduce you to Him.

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