“For God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy to a man who is good in His sight …” (Ecclesiastes 2:26, NKJV)
Possessing the God-given “joy” expressed so frequently in both the Old and New Testaments is not something one can find on Amazon and order endless measures of. It is not something that is for sale by any man or organization in this world!
The “joy” that comes from God is something this world just cannot provide. It is found only in coming to the place where we come to know God and find ourselves loving Him more with each passing day. It is delighting in God!
“Joy is the serious business of heaven.” (C.S. Lewis)
Just seeing or hearing the word “joy” will bring a smile to one’s face and in most cases … their hearts! Unless someone simply has a sour disposition toward people and life … who among us doesn’t want the presence of joy?
What many in the world, and perhaps some in the church need to realize is the difference between joy and happiness. Happiness is determined by what is going on around someone and the circumstances taking place at that moment.
Joy, on the other hand, is what takes place way down deep inside a person’s heart … soul … and mind.
Solomon, the king who when asked directly by the Lord what he would like to receive asked for “wisdom to rule and lead God’s people.” And he is to be admired for his selection.
But then, Solomon determined to search out the real meaning to life and living and pursued every avenue available to mankind. He found only more and more bad roads that led to a dissatisfying dead end!
Solomon admits that his quest rewarded him with a certain amount of joy, but he still found it unsatisfactory and incomplete.
Considering all that he had at his disposal, one would think he would have joy in great abundance. But it was not to be found in the pursuit of anything this world had to offer. Should we choose to pursue joy by looking to the world, it will end with the same result.
His ultimate conclusion, found in verse twenty-six, is that it is God that determines whether we experience joy.
Solomon came to the realization about this life, and it should capture our attention as well. There is absolutely nothing that is inherent in all of humanity that can make it possible for us to extract true and lasting enjoyment, even purpose, and find lasting joy from the things we do.
Remember Solomon received these insightful truths from God! Are we listening to these words? Consider the familiar words of Jesus and place an exclamation point down. “For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
My good friends, we all need to clean our ears and our hearts out and hear the wise words given … unless God is in the very middle of what we’re doing with our lives … lasting joy will not be found!
Satan, “the ruler of this world” would have us believe it is the other way around.
If we are not keeping the correct perspective on Jesus Christ as the Lord of our lives … as the standard by which we measure our lives … as the One and only Savior of us all … then we’re facing endless miles of more bad roads.
Real joy … the “joy of the fruit of the Spirit” … comes only from God! He is the originator … the Giver of all that real joy comes from.
The Greek word for “joy” is chara, a word derived from the word, charis, which is the Greek word for “grace.” Why is this important enough to notice? Because these words tell us categorically that chara (“joy”) is actually produced by the charis (“grace”) of God!
What this means to you and me is this … Biblical “joy” is not based on, does not originate from … anything this world can offer! That sense of joy that the world offers will come and go like the rising and falling of the waves!
A child of God can suffer disappointment, persecution, and sorrow from a multitude of sources in his life … but the joy of the Lord in him will always lift him over them because his joy is greater than any negative circumstance that might occur.
Joy cannot in any way be manufactured by anyone. It is the result of obtaining through obedient faith coupled with His grace and mercy a close and deep relationship with the Lord!
There is so much more joy awaiting each of us when we choose to “draw nearer to Him!”
“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)
Bill Fairchild, Jr.