Comedian Lenny Bruce once shared his philosophy of life like this: “Look, you have only sixty-five years to live. Before you’re twenty, you can’t enjoy anything because you don’t know what’s going on. After you’re fifty, you can’t enjoy it either, because you don’t have the physical energies. So you only have around twenty-five years, and I’m going to swing.” He died of an overdose of morphine at age forty. It is obvious that Lenny Bruce really did not understand what joy is and therefore never found it.
It is amazing how many people seem to never find true joy. I think of Ernest Hemingway whose name is still known today. Wealthy, successful, and popular, what else could you want? These did not provide him true joy. Hemingway in his own words said “I live in a vacuum that is as lonely as a radio tube when the batteries are dead and there is no current to plug into.” He took his own life.
What is the key to having sustained joy? The key is first of all to understand that joy is not a feeling, it is a right perspective. It is not how you are affected by things, but how you look at things.
Jesus, hours before He would suffer on the cross for the sins of the world, which includes you and me, spoke to his disciples telling them “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither canyou unless you abide in Me.5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.- John 15:4-5. Jesus concluded this by saying “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and thatyour joy may be made full.”- John 15:11.
If you simply looked at the outward suffering of the disciples for the name of Christ, by the world’s standards, they should have been the most miserable men on earth. Yet to the contrary, they were full of joy because they were abiding in Christ. The Apostle Peter, speaking to a persecuted people, said “though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” – 1 Peter 1:8.
Joy is not in the transience of our circumstances, but in the solidity of the Savior Jesus Christ. It is in the abiding that our joy can be made full and liberally supplied.
Would you like to know more about God’s Joy? Call us at 425-432-0634: We would love to talk with you, pray for you and help you discover God’s truth and hope for life. You can also contact us at www.taylorcreekchurch.orgor join us each Sunday. Service times are 9 a.m. for Sunday school and 10:15 a.m. for worship service. We are located at 21110 244thAve. S.E. Maple Valley.