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« Jesus Is Your Sympathetic High Priest. | Main | Love is the Overarching Truth. »
Monday
Jul042016

Jesus Is the Source of Your Happiness 

(Continuation of “The Emotional Relationship”) 

The etymology of the word “happiness” suggests that happiness depends on happenings.  If good things happen, people are happy; if bad things happen, they are unhappy.  “Blessed” is another translation of the word in Hebrew.  In New Testament Greek, it is almost always translated as “blessed.”  The believer need not look to any source other than Christ for a blessed life.  It is in the relationship that blessing occurs, indeed, it is because of the relationship that blessings come.  That the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Galatians 3:14. Isaiah also speaks of the blessing of God upon the descendants of Jacob, which is a prophetic word for the church.  For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring. Isaiah 44:3. The blessing comes to those who are in the relationship. 

Another word akin to happiness is joy.  Someone has said, “Happiness is transient; joy is permanent.”  Joy does not find its source in positive, but superficial events.  Rather, joy effervesces out of a loving relationship with Jesus.  Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ Therefore, with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. Isaiah 12:2-3.  If salvation means Jesus, then you draw water from the wells of Jesus! 

Joy is an essential spiritual practice growing out of faith, grace, gratitude, hope, and love. It is the pure and simple delight in being alive. When we respond with elation to feelings of happiness, experiences of pleasure, and awareness of abundance, we call it joy. Serving others and feeling glad for their good fortune also produces the deep satisfaction we know as joy. 

Joy, in fact, is a shared emotion.  True joy cannot be achieved by yourself, with yourself.   Too many people mistakenly think that separating themselves from other people will allow them to enjoy life on their own.  Without relationships, however, there is no real joy.  For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are our glory and joy. 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20.  Those us who have lost our parents or other significant persons in our lives often say, “I wish Dad or Mom could see this!”  A large part of our joy is the knowledge and reaction of other people in our relationships.  When people flee relationships, it is almost always because they have been hurt or they want to avoid pain and conflict.  While they may achieve that goal, the result is a tasteless, barren existence, stripped of gratifying joy.  On the other hand, when we seek out relationships at the risk of pain and conflict, we discover joy, and we learn that one joy outweighs a thousand pains.   

The Christ-life is a life of joy, even when we are called upon to sacrifice or suffer.  The Apostle Peter reminds us of this.  In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:6-9.  The relationship, not the experience, produces the joy.

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