Perfect circumstances or a perfect heart? Desires fulfilled or hope ignited?
We work for happiness, but joy is bestowed as a gift. Happiness is of earth, but joy is of heaven.
Happiness is often temporary, but joy is eternal. People, possessions, and achievements often bring happiness, but only God can bestow joy. It is his prerogative. It is his honor and pleasure to rejoice the hearts of his children.
It is nice to be happy, and it is wonderful when everything is going well. But to know that our eternal future is secure and that we will be cared for come what may—this excels all other pleasures.
We know what makes us happy—a good job, good friends, good health. Often we don’t know exactly where joy comes from and for what reason. We are just walking along, minding our own business, and then we are surprised by joy. It seems to be the counterpart of contentment. As it is written: “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”
Maybe joyful moments are the only glimpse that we have of heaven this side of eternity. We all want rousing revelations and awesome utterances from the throne, but maybe Our Father wants us to appreciate the subtleties of his presence rather than the glories of what is not quite yet.
To be sure, grandeur and ecstasy are waiting for us on the other side, but quiet joy, restful peace, and obedient contentment are ours now. They are the building blocks of our eternal homes. They are the stepping stones to the throne. They are in fact “God with us”—Emmanuel!
~ Brad Heilhecker