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John 3:16

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Be joyful always...

Thursday, 05 August 2010 22:41 Bolaji 'Theo' Douglas
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Be joyful always... for this is the will of God for you -  1 Thessalonians 5:16.

If there is one thing the world in general desires and would go any length to obtain, then it must be to find true joy in life. All over the world people are looking to find joy from wherever it can be found, people are willing to indulge themselves in anything in order to experience joy. Everyone both believers and non-believers go about seeking for this experience. They look to relationships, careers that are highly rewarding, the accumulation of wealth, hedonistic lifestyles, sex, drugs and alcohol, they do all of these with the hope of experiencing true joy. But what they find in their quest is a temporary relief; a fleeting moment of exhilaration and elation that soon runs its course leaving the beneficiaries in a state of despondency all over again.

For others, it is all about creating an environment that is conducive, one which in turn provides them with the feel good factor. They want an environment that sort of shields and cocoons them from the realities of life. Unfortunately the minute this environment is shattered and disappears, it leaves with the feel good factor, leaving the beneficiaries pining for the good times again. And just like King Solomon, who also indulged himself so much while seeking to find pleasures from life, they too are soon left reeling with the same feeling of total emptiness.

Some will of course be wondering just like Solomon did, if there is any point to life at all and if it is ever possible to find true joy in this life, not to mention being joyful at all times. Well the will of God as revealed to us by his word is that we should be joyful always. Oh the will of God for us is to remain joyful in every situation, through all circumstances and on all occasions. His will for us is that we remain in a permanent state of joyful existence irrespective of what we might be facing or going through in life. How is this possible? Well it is possible if only we know that being joyful is not the same thing as being happy. This is also possible if we know how to attain to this state in the first place. While being joyful can also deliver us into the state of happiness, being happy on the other hand does not necessarily imply being joyful.

You see happiness is a state of being that is very much dependent on external stimuli and for a number of people; this stimulus remains out of their control to create or sustain. The condition that brings happiness to a number of people is very much external to them, hence the reason they try so hard to create this environment or go looking for the stimulus to induce the feeling in them. But this is not what we are in our new nature; rather this way of inducing happiness is the lot of those who still operate in the old nature.

Being joyful on the other hand, has to do with the state of the mind; you see true joy comes from within. It comes from a disposition of the mind towards life and the issues surrounding it, such that it is oblivious to the external conditions or stimuli. True joy does not come as a result of external stimuli, rather it comes from within as a result of a permanent position which the heart has been transformed or shaped into. As a result therefore, true joy thrives both in times of boom and in time of recession, it thrives in the face of good news and bad news. It remains unperturbed during trials and in the midst of encouragement it remains steadfast.

It does not wait for any external stimuli to make it thrive or to maintain a positive upbeat about life; you see the man who has true joy in him, remains positively upbeat at all times irrespective of his circumstance. He does not go searching for happiness; instead happiness come looking for him. This is so because true joy has the ability and the power to create from within, the feel good factor that induces happiness. The beauty of having true joy is that, it always attracts all the positive things of life towards it. This is what as born again believers we have been given the capacity to produce in our new nature.

No wonder why it is God's will for every believer and why he wants us to always remain in this state. I say so because we have been given the nature of God, the one who is the joy giver. As a matter of fact, it is the standard of living which is available to every believer, and one which they are entitled to. Says who? You might retort, well so says the revealed will of God, clearly expressed as a commandment through his word.

So how can I find this joy and how can I be filled with this joy? Well the scriptures help us to understand that true joy is a gift from God because it is found only in his presence. It is God who fills us with the gift of his joy, his will for us is that we be joyful at all times, because he wants us to benefit from the peace that being joyful delivers us into.

You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand -Psalm 16:11.

You see true and complete joy is found in his presence alone, the scripture tells us that 'In the presence of the Lord, there is fullness of joy and at his right hand; pleasures for evermore'. God is the source of true joy and as result, the One who bestows the gift of joy. No wonder therefore why he demands that we his people be joyful always, he demands it because it is part of the inheritance he has bequeathed to us in his position as our Father. We inherit this in our new nature, and it is activated by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The Psalmist revealed to us how God was able to fill him with joy;

You have made known to me the path of life -Psalm 16:11a.

The Psalmist declared that it boils down to being shown the path to life or through the unravelling of the mysteries of life. True joy is accessed by discovering the right path to life or the secrets of living a joyful life; this is the very path that the whole world runs aimlessly around looking for. It is the same path that those who have money are willing to pay anything to have and those who do not have the money, struggle endlessly to obtain. But for every believer, the path that leads to this joy can only be found in the presence of God the Father, and it is revealed in Jesus. The very joy that God wants us to come into can be obtained through Jesus alone. Jesus gave to all of his believers including you and I, a simple instruction through which we all can obtain this joy in him;

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete -John 16:24.

The path of life that lead us as believers into the presence of God where we can stay filled with complete joy all the time, is found in Christ and whatever we ask through his name. You see, he is the way, he is the truth and he is that very life that releases the gift of joy which God gives. This joy or the path to it, is not found anywhere else, not in any of the avenues that the world turns to hoping to find it there, rather it is found in Christ.

It is the reason why God boldly declared his will to us as believers that we should be joyful always. He did so because he has already opened the way that leads into this joy. This is possible as long as we abide in Christ. This is what we have been called into and it is the basic standard of living in the Kingdom of God. Do everything possible to attain to it.


Last Updated on Thursday, 06 October 2011 22:00
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1 Corinthians 15:55-57
“?Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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