What brings joy and happiness to your life? For me, I get happy when:
I drink a Green Tea Frappe from Starbucks...
I play piano (especially on such a beautiful Grand as this one!)...
I spend time with my adorable baby cousins!...
I walk along a gorgeous tree lined unpaved streets...
I capture sun-flare...
I experience a lovely sunset on the beach...
I drink COFFEE!
While all these things bring happiness, this kind of happiness is temporal. It doesn't last. It's very easy to be doing any of these things on minute and the next feel like I'm in the "Depths of Despair".
So where is lasting happiness?
Lasting happiness, or joy, is only found in the presence of God. He is the source of everything we could want or need, and it is in this provision that joy abounds.
At the beginning of this month, Marmee, Makenna, and I started an In-depth study of Joy. If you have never done this before, I would like to encourage you to start. It has been so eye-opening, and it is very easy! All you do is use a concordance (you could even use a website like BibleGateway.com ) and look up the word you are studying (the choices for words are nearly limitless!).
One of my favorite verses I have found during our study is Psalm 16:11. It says:
"You will show me the path of life;
In Your Presence is fullness of joy;
At Your Right Hand are pleasure forevermore."
My deepest desire is fullness of joy that comes from being in the Presence of the King of kings. It is a joy that never ends, because God never ends, and the further I go in Him the more joy, love, and peace I find. The nearer I get to God, the more clear is my revelation of Him.
Consider your own life: Why do you feel so unfulfilled when you are doing everything you can to be happy?
Maybe it's time to find time to be in God's presence - because there you will find fullness of joy and fulfillment. Your experience will never be greater than your sacrifice, so don't be afraid to give Him your all, and you will find joy unspeakable and full of glory!
"Then the people rejoiced, for they had offered willingly,
because with a loyal heart they had offered willingly to the Lord...
I Chronicles 29:9
"Do not sorrow,
for the Joy of the Lord is your strength!"
"If you keep my commandments you will abide in My love...
These things I have spoken to you that My joy may remain in you,
and that your joy may be full."