By Josh Kerby
I am sure you have heard this analogy before, but I will reiterate it in case you haven’t. Let’s just say you had $86,400 in your bank account. If someone stole $10 from you, would you get angry? Would this stolen $10 make you want to throw away the other $86,390? I don’t think anyone would get that upset that they would throw away the rest of their money. This $10 is so minuscule compared to the other $86,390 that we probably wouldn’t notice much. The problem though is this happens to us almost every day. Someone takes the $10 from us, and we get so angry that we throw the rest of the money away. Now, I am not talking about money at this point; I am talking about seconds. A day consists of 86,400 seconds. If someone manages to ruin 10 seconds of our day, we tend to let it dictate our attitudes for the rest of the day. Sometimes it could be for a couple of days. Essentially, they have robbed us of 10 seconds of joy and we decide to throw the other 86,390 seconds of joy we could have away. Why do we do this? Why can something this small cause us to lose our joy? Let’s take a more in-depth look as to where our joy comes from.
There are a lot of things that can bring us joy. Our joy can come from food, good grades, family, friends, and the list goes on. The problem with all these things is they only bring temporary joy. These same things that bring us joy can also rip it away in an instant. One moment you could be laughing with friends, and the next moment you have lost all your joy because someone said a very hurtful thing to you. This can happen a lot. Most of the joy in our life is fleeting. It is fleeting because it only comes from temporary things. If we continue to look for joy in the worldly things, we will continually be let down, and our joy will disappear. Where should we look for joy? Where should we turn to find joy that isn’t fleeting?
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” – Romans 15:13
As you might have guessed, we need to look to God for joy. His joy is eternal. Don’t you find great joy thinking about eternity spent with Him? Our eternal joy doesn’t start when we meet God in Heaven; it starts when we ask Him into our hearts. The problem is we only look to this world for our joy. We have eternal joy in our hearts but choose to ignore it. This joy is already with us; we just need to stir it up. So how do we stir it up? First, stop looking to this world for joy. If we start seeking God and looking to Him in all instances, we will feel this joy. God offers it freely; we just need to stir it up. Spend time with God. We don’t get joy from our friends by having friends; we get joy from our friends by interacting with them and spending time with them. Are you spending time with God? Spending time with God isn’t limited to reading the Bible, praying, and worship. Spending time with God could be going on a hike and enjoying His creation or sitting at the local park and watching the children play. Tap into the eternal joy God gives you.
Now you think, how can I be joyful in God when He puts me through trials? I think the real problem is we are only looking at this trial from a short and tainted view. We aren’t looking at it eternally. Look what the bible has to say about trials.
“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” – Romans 5:3-5
God puts us through trials to teach us something and make us more like Him. We should rejoice in this. He wants to make us better people. Stand firm with joy from the Lord in your trials. You will undoubtedly confuse a lot of people, but you will also be thankful for what God is doing.
Now, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t find joy in the things of this world, but we should find them through God. Remember where your joy comes from and those 10 seconds won’t ruin the rest of your day. Nothing can take God’s eternal joy from you. God tells us to find joy and gladness in eating and celebration, but He asks us to find it through Him. Stop looking to the world for joy when it is always fleeting. In fact, give this fleeting joy to the world and leave it, because our joy is found in the One who created joy. Spend time with God and stir up that eternal joy He gives you; you won’t regret it.
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