“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy.”
A few days ago, I read an article that told the story of Christians who had lost their homes and all their possessions because of ISIS. But, although they had lost all their earthly possessions, they still had joy. Now before I continue, I want to ask you a question: If your home and all your possessions were taken from you, would you still be joyful? Really think about that for a second and answer yourself truthfully. Do you find it hard to see yourself still being joyful in a situation like that? It’s a hard question to answer, but it’s something worth thinking about. Philippians 4:4 states, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say rejoice.” Notice that it says to rejoice in the Lord always. Not just sometimes. Not just when you feel like it. It says always.
So what is the secret to eternal joy? The only way to find true, unchanging, everlasting, and totally fulfilling happiness is through Jesus (Psalm 16:11). If you find it in the ever changing and mortal things of the world, your joy will only last for a short time and will never satisfy your hunger for true happiness. But if you find it in our unchanging and never ending Savior, your joy will be unchanging and last for eternity.
Now back to the story I told in the beginning of this post. The reason those Christians were able to still have joy even though so much had been taken from them is because their joy was not placed in their possessions, but in Jesus. So when their earthly things were taken from them, their joy did not go with it. This is true joy. It is the kind of joy that strengthens and encourages us when we walk through trials. It is the kind of joy that sets us apart from the world. It is the kind of joy that will last for eternity no matter what we go through.
I am going to end this post with something I once read in a Voice of the Martyrs magazine: “Joy has nothing to do with possessions and everything to do with our relationship with Jesus and our eternal reward.” That is the secret to eternal joy.