Published on October 4th, 2017 | by Millennium Magazine Staff0
THE SECRET TO TRUE JOY
by Taffi Dollar
The word “secret” is defined as something unknown or unseen. Many children make a game out of keeping secrets from others, feeling that “insider information” gives them a powerful advantage. But one secret that actually should be shouted from the rooftops, the one many people need to know, is the secret to true joy. It doesn’t come from any external source, from relationships with others, or even from ourselves—it’s a blessing from above.
Some people spend their entire lives looking for joy, only to fail. Advertisers try to exploit it and make money by telling us we need their product or service to be happy. But joy goes far deeper than surface feelings of excitement or jubilation. We find the kind of joy that comes from God when we study and begin to understand His Word. “Joyful is the person who finds wisdom, the one who gains understanding” (Proverbs 3:13, NLT). “Life’s experiences” can be a meaningless jumble of random happenings without God’s Holy Spirit pulling it all together for us. No matter how smart and educated we are, our intellectual understanding has human limitations. True understanding springs from the wisdom God gives us. His kind of joy is all-encompassing, full, and complete.
Some people think they can find joy from their friends or family, only to be disappointed. Other people, with their frailties and human imperfections, can let us down. The truth that peace, joy, and happiness only come through Christ is a secret many have yet to discover, but He wants us to know that a relationship with Him gives us something the world doesn’t have. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27, NKJV).
No amount of money, entertainment, or approval from others will produce lasting joy. Joy comes from right-standing with God, Who cares for us and accepts us, despite all of our faults. We find favor from God when we embrace the same humble attitude that Jesus advocated when He preached the Beatitudes to the crowds (Matthew 5:3-12). Sadly, many never understand the point of Jesus’ message, that submission to God and the things of God positions us for favor, blessings, happiness, and joy.
There’s a connection between receiving God’s blessing and the happiness that results. He wants to bless us, not for anything we’ve done, but simply because of Who He is. He’s good and He loves us. As we get to know Him, we will see changes for the better that we can’t take credit for. Things will happen inside us that we can’t comprehend. “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7).
God doesn’t want His love for us to be a secret. In reading His Word, we sense His love jumping out at us from the Scriptures. He wants to give us His understanding, His wisdom, His peace, and His joy. If we make Him the center of all our relationships, He’ll bless every one of them.