Is joy a place where beaches are gold, oceans are vast and summers are endless? Does this “place” really exist? Within each of is a longing to find such a place, a place of pure unadulterated joy. Yet so few find it and instead live a life of discontentment, a life of emptiness. When we deceive ourselves into believing not that joy is a choice, but that it is only available to those with wealth and good fortune, then the meaning of true joy is lost.
We often relate the concept of happiness with the deceivingly similar, but truly differing concept of joy. As a result, a culture of dissatisfied people has been created; a culture that settles for occasional highs, week-long escapes and fleeting emotions instead of true joy. But when the storms of life blow in, the skeletal sails of happiness are left frayed and torn. What we need is something stronger than emotion, sturdy enough to harness the winds of circumstance and ride the waves of change. What we need is joy.
Joy has a vision that can see beyond the immediate circumstances to the positive end. But until instant gratification is no longer valued above the help from an all-powerful God, discontentment will continue.
Jesus birth ushered in the opportunity to trade the empty promise of happiness for the lasting experience of joy. May we seek to understand and experience this joy in a new way this week.