The Key to Joy

“Be joyful always; pray continually;” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-17 (NIV)

Where do we find joy? Where do we find peace? It is a universal desire that humanity yearns to posses; that we may find these things in abundance in our lives. Philosophers throughout human history have sought to find the key to obtaining that unshakable joy and calm which we all seek. Some say it is through living the moral life, others through the accumulation of wealth and the pursuit of pleasure. Still others claim that lasting human happiness can be achieved through the creation of a harmonious society where all live in equality and unity. The reality however, is that societies rise and fall, wealth and pleasure are fleeting, and living a truly moral life is seemingly impossible; all because of the fallen state of ourselves and the world around us.

We were created for one purpose alone, to live in relationship with God. In His eternity, man’s hope was secure, and in His goodness man’s joy was complete. However, because of our sinful nature, we are separated from God and with that separation our eternal joy and peace is lost.  Yet it is in God’s plan to mend this broken relationship we have with Him. He sees that sin has only wrought misery and insecurity upon our souls and wants to restore our hope and bliss. When we accept Christ’s redemptive sacrifice for us and allow Him to dwell within our hearts, we not only have a restored relationship with Him, but our relationship with Him is direct and personal. Being in relationship with Christ is the key to true happiness and peace. As He enables us to live according to His righteousness we are free from the degrading control of sin. When we invest in that relationship through prayer and allowing His Word to permeate our minds, we will find that in Him we are made complete and that nothing can take away the hope we have through Him.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

When Were You Born?

“…for we were born only yesterday and know nothing…” –Job 8:9 (NIV)

I wasn’t born yesterday! How many times have we caught ourselves saying this phrase? We often use this exclamation when we sense that we are being tricked or deceived by someone else. As much as it signals to the listener that we are not easy to fool, it also assures us that we are not gullible people. But despite our claims to being shrewd, we prove ourselves time and time again that we are quite the opposite. How often do we fall into the traps of misery and woe? How often do we allow sin to deceive us into submitting ourselves under its yoke? Though we are able to see through these deceptions and avoid these traps, we are a forgetful race. When we fail to remember the lessons God has taught us through our lives, our neglect of His teachings will be our undoing.

The Christian life is a discipline. It is a discipline based on remembrance; a concept which is echoed throughout the Bible. God calls His people to remember His commandments and to remember His faithfulness. Like a teacher training his students, God continues to remind us of these things for He knows that wisdom and knowledge easily depart from our minds. The remnants of our sinful nature would like for us to forget His teachings and draw ourselves away from Christ. Our only defence against sin’s devices is to abide with Christ and allow His wisdom to illumine our minds. When we make that choice to walk closely with Him and spend time in His Word, He will remind us of the viciousness of sin, and the hope and joy we have by being in His presence. No one can claim to be wise for our erstwhile wicked nature continues to vie for our loyalty. It is this struggle within our souls which prevents us from achieving full perfection in the wisdom and righteousness of Christ. But when we have allowed Christ to reside in our hearts and opened our ears and minds to walk in His ways, we will be able to live within His perfect will knowing that it is He who gives us wisdom and ability to apply it in our lives.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.