The Heart Of The Matter
The author C. S. Lewis once said, “Don’t let your joy depend on something you may lose. Instead, let it rest solely on our Lord and Savior, Who will never pass away.” This quote is a wonderful reminder that true and lasting joy won't be built on our circumstances, because circumstances can and do change. Instead, our joy should only be built on God, because He never changes.
Nehemiah 8:10 describes it like this, “Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!” With this simple statement Nehemiah reminds us that God is the author of true joy, and it’s only through His power that we're able to keep a joyful perspective on life. So the real enemy of joy won’t be what's going on around us, but what's going on inside of us. In other words, it will be about where our focus is, and what’s happening inside of our hearts.
Here's why I say that - if joy only comes from within, then what we have inside is the determining factor in being able to maintain joy. What torpedoes us the most is when we take our eyes off of God, and focus on ourselves, or the situation around us. It’s taking God out of the center of our lives, and replacing Him with what we think we want or need. That’s why focusing on ourselves and ignoring God - the Author of joy - is a surefire way to make us miserable.
So today, let's ask God to help us base our joy on Him, and not our circumstances. Let's ask Him to search our hearts, and clean out any sin that might be hiding there keeping us from being joyful. And as He reveals that sin to us, let’s confess it - and recenter on God so that we can live the joy filled lives God wants to share with us.