Every person desires to have joy in their life regardless of their race, gender or religion.
I have never met a person who wants to be unhappy. However, I have met people who go about obtaining joy the wrong way.
Often people feel that if they could just meet Mr. Right, buy a new car, live in a bigger house, get a new wardrobe, go on that dream vacation, get a better job or make more money, then they would be happy. All of this reveals to us that most people view joy and happiness as a commodity attainable through wealth and possessions. The truth of the matter is that money cannot buy joy and happiness.
There is no amount of money or things that will ever give you lasting joy or contentment in life. Joy and contentment are not based on circumstances. If a person is not content with what they have, they will not be content with more.
If anyone knew this first hand, it was the Apostle Paul. Listen to what he said in Philippians 4:11-12 (NKJV), “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
Paul reveals to us that even though it may be difficult, it is possible to be content even during harsh circumstances. On the other hand, being content doesn’t mean that you should stop dreaming and settle for a mediocre life.
Again, there is nothing sinful about having money or possessions. Go ahead, dream big and believe in God for the fulfillment of your dreams whether it be going off to college, meeting Mr. or Mrs. Right, finding a better career, starting a business or purchasing a new house. Just remember that we cannot look to money and possessions to bring fulfillment to our lives.
True and lasting fulfillment comes from the Lord.
It is also important to note that we should do our very best to not be ruled by our circumstances. I know this is easier said than done, however it is possible. Our circumstances do not steal our joy; it’s our attitude during our circumstances that steals our joy.
Another example of this can be found in Acts 16:25-26 (NKJV), “But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.” As we can see, Paul and Silas did not allow their circumstances to rob their joy, instead they chose to rejoice in the midst of their trouble.
Decide today, no matter what you are facing in life, you will be joyful.
Marlando D. Jordan is senior pastor at Word of Faith Center in Kennewick. Questions and comments should be directed to editor Lucy Luginbill in care of the Tri-City Herald newsroom, 333 W. Canal Drive, Kennewick, WA 99336. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.