Words from the Heart for Thursday September 2nd, 2021
Always be full of joy.
1 Thessalonians 5:16 (ERV)
Full of Joy
A 2016 survey measured the overall happiness of Canadians. Canadians on the whole reported that they were satisfied with their lives on a range of metrics, from the number of friends they have to how others think about them. Eighty per cent said they were very or somewhat satisfied with their overall quality of life. Similar numbers reported satisfaction with where they live and their relationships with family members.
Not every day is as good as others. We all have experienced days that are really difficult and it just isn’t realistic to be happy all the time. So what do we do with Paul’s command in 1 Thessalonians 5:16: “Always be full of joy.” This is quite the command. There is a totality to this command – always and full of. How is this possible? When the Bible speaks of joy it is speaking of something far different than happiness. Happiness is tied to outward experiences – we can go from happiness to sadness, from satisfaction to dissatisfaction in an instant. But the joy that we have as followers of Christ carries us through no matter what is happening around us. The joy comes from the assurance that our sins have been removed, we are sons and daughters of the living God, and eternity is secured. As we walk with the Lord Jesus, we have the assurance that He is with us – He promises to never leave us or forsake us. All of this is the foundation of the joy that fills our lives. The world sees joy as an emotion – the Christian knows it is something far deeper and is our strength.
These have been words from the heart.