Who doesn’t love the feeling of being happy? I sure do. But the truth is, nobody is happy all the time. It’s impossible.
I like to think of it like sucking helium out of a balloon. You suck in the helium and your voice sounds awesome for like, a very short amount of time. And then it goes back to normal.
Just like being happy. Except being happy is worse.
Something “amazing” happens and we’re on top of the world, floating on clouds, in a fragile happiness bubble. And then something happens and we’re more depressed than we were before. The bubble pops, gravity does its thing, and we are on the cold hard ground, contemplating the meaning of life all over again. Or something like that.
We can’t maintain happiness, because it is an emotion. And you can’t maintain an emotion for very long. Because being happy is conditional. For example, getting a new item, making good grades, being in a great relationship can make you happy…but once the newness wears off, or the thing you were hoping for doesn’t happen, you’re “unhappy” and this goes on and on for your entire life.
But I’ve got some good news.
You can’t always be happy, but you can have JOY. I’m not just saying this because it’s my middle name. Because we can all have true joy in our lives. How? Well let me tell you.
Where does joy come from? A thriving relationship with the savior of your soul. Honestly, which do you think sounds better?
1) A free ticket to the concert or amusement park of your choice for a day. Super cool, right? I love when I get free tickets!
2) A free ticket to heaven, for eternity, with no lines to wait in, all access to the Creator of the Universe, in pure paradise, better than the Bahamas! As a bonus, you get 24/7 prayer access, love and grace from your savior, forgiveness of sin, and unconditional love.
Whoa. That is seriously wicked awesome! (If you’re not familiar with the word “wicked” being a positive adjective, it means like super-super-super-super-wow-awesome. It’s a New England thing.)
Free concert tickets is really fun. But it can only make you happy. Once the day is over, it’s back to normal.
BUT! Jesus in your life is -truly- fulfilling. No, your problems don’t melt away. But the God of Angel Armies is on our side. No, life won’t be easy and pain-free. But Jesus is right beside us, and he understands. You have to choose joy though, because obviously it won’t come naturally. But remembering the significance of God in our lives sure helps.
If we can understand how much God loves us, enough to give up his one and only perfect son to die for our sins, doesn’t that give us joy? If we realize how great our sinfulness is and how deep the grace of God is, isn’t that fulfilling? God never had to create us; he knew all along we would rebel. And he knew he would send his son to die. But he did anyway. His love is extravagant! He’ll never ever stop loving us.
So think about this: happiness is an emotion. It’s good, but never good enough. Joy is a choice and a realization. It comes from a relationship with your savior. Which will you choose today?