We saw yesterday that Jesus never promised us a life of happiness. If that is all that the Christian life offered - how disappointing that would be. Why? Because happiness is simply a temporary feeling that comes and goes based on our circumstances. It's like a lifelong "roller coaster" ride...up and down - up and down - up and down. That's not much of a fulfilling life if you ask me.
Jesus doesn't promise us a life of happiness. Following Jesus is much better than that. When you are a follower of Jesus you get to experience JOY! How is JOY different than happiness?
JOY is an inner contentment - Happiness is only a feeling!
JOY is permanent - Happiness is only temporary!
JOY is based on Christ - Happiness is based only on my circumstances!
Happiness is a feeling that comes and goes based on our circumstance. JOY is a deep, inner contentment that is real and present, even when the bottom drops out on my life. The bottom line is this...JOY has nothing to do with your CIRCUMSTANCES but everything to do with your relationship with CHRIST!
We see this clearly as Paul writes the book of Philippians. The theme of the book is JOY! But where is Paul when he writes this? He is in a Roman dungeon, chained between Roman guards. His circumstances were not "happy" ones. But, yet, he experienced JOY and even wrote, "REJOICE in the Lord, always! And again I say, REJOICE!"
Back in the days of kings and castles, when the king was in residence on his throne, a special flag was flown. When the residents of the kingdom say the flag they knew that all was well in the kingdom and that the king was on the throne. JOY is the flag that is flown in your life as a Christian which shows that King Jesus is on the throne of your heart.
Why not take the "JOY Infusion" challenge? Philippians is only 4 chapters long. You want to experience a life of JOY? Start by reading the book of Philippians in one sitting every day for 30 straight days! By the end of the 30 days, you will be hoisting up the flag of JOY in your life.