Tuesday, May 04, 2010
How Joyful Are You?
On a scale from 0-5, how joyful are you? Why? I often, if not always, exchange joy for happiness. I forget that joy is a security of things hoped for; a set of unchangeable realities above and outside myself. It is an emotion that is not a mere emotion. Joy and hope are inseparable, as long as that in which we hope is an unchangeable reality. And here is the first clue to the real nature of joy: It must be founded upon that which can not be shaken, taken away, affected by the economy, broken, violated, forgotten, etc. In short, true and lasting joy can only be a Christian virtue for the only thing which does not change, ever, is the body of truth that constitutes the Christian Gospel. Therefore, joy and faith are inseparable; real joy can only exist in the presence of a "...confidence of things not seen." Heb 11:1. The things of this earth, at times bringing great happiness, can not give real joy because they are all transient; a mist or shadow that so easily passes away. So I am reminded that I may be so "joyless" because I have of late forgotten to meditate upon the hope of my salvation; think much of God's love for me, the security of my salvation, the constant intercession of Christ on my behalf, the fountain of blood always available for my forgiveness and cleansing, the unflagging zeal of God to fulfill his covenant, keep His word, and bring all His people into Glory while not losing a single one! Instead of theses realities, I often fill my mind with the anxieties of this world: economy, my sins, possibility of grave illness both in me and/or my family, removal of Gods temporal blessings, aging, unfulfilled dreams, overt focus on world pursuits, etc. And here the Scriptures admonition to be anxious for nothing resounds in my mind, as well as the admonition to set my mind on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God...for only there, as Christ is disposed to us in such a favorable way to the end that we will be in Heaven with Him, can I find relief from anxiety and worry, the very thing which robs me of my joy. May I not be like the world with its hopelessness; pervading hopelessness! But rather found my joy upon the Rock of my salvation which will never fail!