Stop Being Happy: Be Joyful
Where do you find joy? When members of the Bible Study answered this question, the dominant answer was family. A few months ago, we were reminded that “no-thing can make us happy”. It’s our relationships (family, friends, God) that bring us lasting happiness and joy.
In John’s gospel, Jesus tells the disciples, “Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.” Our joy is dependent on how well we maintain our relationship with the Lord. If we draw close to God, we will find the source of our joy most present in our lives. If we drift away, we lose touch with that life source. Our faith is there to carry us through good and bad times. True joy is not dependent on circumstances but on our connection to God. If we seek to find peace and joy in all seasons, we must allow God to prune and maintain our branches as we seek abundant life in the true vine that is Jesus Christ.
We sometimes look for happiness in all the wrong places. We think material possessions, personal accomplishments, or financial successes will bring us lasting happiness. Yet, even these things will bring only fleeting happiness. The feelings will pass and we will look for something else to fill our happiness gap. So, don’t focus on being happy. Focus on finding lasting joy, which we find in our relationship with God. This week, keep a journal and write down where you found joy each day. You may notice a pattern: true joy and lasting happiness are found in right relationship with God and others. Seek after joy. It’s not the easiest, but it’s the most satisfying. As Jesus said, “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”