Psalm 144:15 (NLT) Yes, joyful are those who live like this! Joyful indeed are those whose God is the Lord.
There are a lot of things that can produce happiness in life, but the problem is that happiness in very fleeting. Life is basically made up of a stream of events that either make you happy or sad, or that have no impact either way. Those streams of events are constantly happening. Sometimes it seems like you are riding on the clouds with a lot of things going your way, producing feelings of extreme happiness. But it just takes one bit of bad news for that happiness to come crashing down. Sometimes, the exact opposite occurs and you come across a time in your life where nothing seems to go right, causing you to experience a lot of trouble and turmoil without any end in sight. That produces sadness and if it lasts too long, can lead to depression. But usually, it's a mixed bag of events producing happiness and sadness along the journey of life.
That is why what Jesus gave us as His followers is so valuable. I am talking about joy, which only God can give. Jesus, while expressing His love for the disciples, said that He was letting them know about it and how it works so that His joy would be in them and so that their joy would be complete (John 15:11). It works through obedience to the words that He spoke. Obedience leads to remaining in the love of Jesus and Jesus remaining in us. That leads to knowing Jesus intimately, which then produces joy. In other words, knowing and obeying Jesus and experiencing His love results in joy. The reason that it does is because there is nothing that can satisfy our soul except a loving and intimate relationship with Jesus. Knowing Jesus as a historical figure won't do and neither will knowing a lot of information about Him. Joy is produced from knowing Him personally.
The big difference between joy and happiness is that joy remains through thick and thin while happiness depends on good things happening. Joy remains during great trials and tribulations and through every difficult moment of life. It remains because the source of it is not what is happening around you but is Jesus Himself. Your joy is in the person of Jesus and is consistent because He is the same, yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8). That brings to life the verse above, which laser points us to have God as our Lord as the source of our joy. That simple fact is what our joy is all about. Having Jesus (God) as our Lord includes what he said about remaining in His love by keeping His commands. It's in living an upright life through God's Word that you demonstrate your love towards God resulting in His love remaining in you! That is cause for great joy and that is the joy that will remain with you through this life until you are in the absolute fullness of joy when you go to be with Him in glory! Joyful indeed are we because Jesus is not only the Lord, but our Lord!
Pastor Joey Vazquez