In my very first post, waaaayyyyy back on February 17, 2015, I talked about happiness vs. joy. I was a little baby blogling, testing out my writing voice in a little corner of the blogosphere, and didn’t quite know what I was doing. (It’s not my favorite post.) But I decided that the points in there were still important, regardless of the quality of writing.
I’ve been thinking about names recently. I’m Amanda Joy Beguerie. When I was six, I decided that I was going to change my name to Clara when I turned eighteen (and for the record, Clara just so happens to be the name of my book character twin). In addition, I always thought that Joy was a somewhat boring middle name, because it’s a word name (e.g. Grace, Faith, Patience, etc.).
Two nights ago, in Bible study, we talked about joy. We’re studying the book of Philippians, which is all about rejoicing.
I thought about my middle name and realized something.
My middle name is constant. I’m not Amanda [always changing emotion name], I’m Amanda Joy. Joy doesn’t leave, because joy is constant. I can’t get rid of my middle name, it’s just there. No matter how I feel, or what I do, it doesn’t change.
(This is how I think, okay?)
In Bible study, we talked about rejoicing in the Lord.
Because God doesn’t change, our joy needn’t change. Because things like grace and salvation do not change, we can rejoice in them.
Sure, I’m happy if I get a lot of likes and comments on a blog post. I’m happy if I buy something I really like. I’m happy to get my paycheck. I’m happy when people give me books and Amazon gift cards and clothes and free food. These things make me actually, legitimately happy. I won’t minimize that.
But those things aren’t constant things. They don’t last forever.
However, beautiful things like grace, and salvation, and God’s everlasting love are things that we can constantly rejoice in.
I’ve never struggled with depression, but I have been emotionally depressed from time to time. I think that most of us have, really. In those times, I cannot shake the feeling from myself because what happens is I forget my joy.
It’s easy to let myself become happy because of an earthly thing and then later, let myself be disappointed when that thing doesn’t last.
Joy is something that we will find in God alone. We will find joy in our salvation given us by the grace and love of God.
When we succumb to lies that tell us that our ‘joy’ should come from things, we deceive ourselves. This is where our joy should stem from.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
I know, I know. We’ve heard that verse a thousand times. BUT LISTEN TO WHAT IT IS SAYING.
When we had no hope, God provided us with hope. This hope is assurance that no matter what we have done or will ever do, God has forgiven us.
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”
God has done what no one else could do, and He forgave us when we were unforgivable.
We are new in Christ, and our sin is not held against us.
“You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
Joy isn’t a fleeting emotion. It’s a choice to live in gratitude to the one who saved our souls.
It’s a mindset that will give us constant satisfaction.