Why Joy Satisfies Me (More Than Anything Else)

Why Joy Satisfies Me (More Than Anything Else)

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.

Romans 5:8

“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.

Philippians 4:4

“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.

Psalm 16:11

“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.

*aj

Truly Satisfied

Beach-Cliff-Sand

Even if I might sound like I have all of my life figured out and perfect, it’s not so. Don’t worry. I ain’t perfect.

Truth is, I’m not content all the time. Really. I have a tendency to worry about things way too much. And even though my head knows that worrying does nothing, my heart jumps in the way and makes me forget how secure I really am in Christ.

I mean, what if I don’t have enough money to pay for [insert important thing here]?

What if I can’t get the [insert “needed” thing here]?

Although I’ve read this verse in Hebrews before, it stuck out to me this time.

Hebrews 13:5-6

‘Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ’I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,

“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’”

Sometimes we might let something other than God drive our lives. For example, money.

Here is the worldly life in a nutshell.

You go to school from 5 years old to 18. You’re supposed to get good grades to get into a “good college”. You go to college for a few years and “you better get good grades, or you won’t get a good job.”

So you finally land a good job. How do you know if it’s a good job? (Although this is a little sarcastic, it’s kind of true.)

You ask the following questions:

  • Does it pay well, so that I have enough money to both take care of me and/or my family and still have enough money to buy what I want? Really: Can I get what I want out of it so that I’m comfortable?
  • Do I like it? Rephrased: Does it make me happy and comfortable?
  • Can I imagine doing this for the rest of my life? Meaning: Is it enough to fulfill me?

See, there’s nothing wrong with having a good job. In fact, it is truly a good thing and a blessing. However, we need to be able to say, “If everything was taken away from me: my earthly pleasures, my home, my great job, my best friend, my Starbucks, my phone, my warm bed, and everything else along with it, I would be content.”

I got to hear Leslie Ludy speak yesterday at a conference. One point that she made stuck out to me. (This is paraphrased; so don’t quote her or me on these exact words.)

“If you’re not finding your contentment in knowing that Jesus is all you need, and looking to find contentment somewhere else, you will never be content.”

Am I finding my fulfillment in the amount of cash in my bank account?

Am I finding my fulfillment in my stuff or my circumstances?

Do I really believe that Jesus is enough?

Because Jesus is enough.

 

Confidently, I will say, The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?

 

My last post was about how God is satisfying enough, and I guess that’s what I’m trying to say here too.

This can go another way as well.

How about we chat about love for a moment.

The world says that true love comes from a human relationship that makes me happy. That satisfies me. That gives me the fairytale ending I want.

But – like temporal stuff – it’s temporal, unless it’s an outpouring of the eternal.

Let me explain.

Because I am content with the love of God inside me, and I know He is enough for me, possessions take lesser importance. I can enjoy human love more because I already understand what Real Love looks like.

I can rejoice in all circumstances, because I know that my life is in the hands of God.

What can man do to me?

Whether I live or I die, it’s a win-win.

Keeping our lives contented – not because of possessions or relationships – comes from finding satisfaction in God alone. Because God is enough.

No worries here. Lay ‘em down at the Cross.

By realizing the significance of the love of God, you’ll find your satisfaction.

*aj