Today, we’re going to talk about “The Secret to a Joyful Life.” Everyone alive would like to live a joyful life, but many have not yet found the secret The Declaration of Independence lists three inalienable rights given by the Creator: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
What is this happiness listed there? The dictionary defines happy as being delighted, pleased or glad over a particular thing. We see from this first definition that happiness for most people is dependent on external circumstances. I’m happy when life is going good. I’m unhappy when life is going badly. I’m happy when I get my paycheck, I’m unhappy when I get my bills. So therefore, happiness will come and go in a person’s life depending on the ebb and flow of their outward circumstances. Happiness is an emotional rollercoaster, sometimes up and oftentimes down.
The Bible speaks of something called joy that is quite different from happiness. Joy is not dependent on outward circumstances. Joy actually is a choice that a person can make.
James 1:2 (ESV) Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
This verse tells believers that when they face difficult trials in life, it should be an opportunity for joy.
Philippians 4:4 (ESV) Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.
This verse commands believers to rejoice, so rejoicing is a choice. We are to rejoice always, this means both in the good and bad times. How is that possible? How can we have joy in circumstances that make other people unhappy? The answer is that joy comes, not through outward circumstances, but through an internal relationship with Jesus. Joy and rejoicing come from following God’s plan for your life.
John 16:24 (ESV) Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
When we pray and ask for things that are God’s will, God will answer our prayers and our joy will be full. This verse implies that there are levels of joy and that our joy can increase. True joy is possible only for a believer in Jesus, because true joy comes from God alone. The Bible describes a person without Jesus in their life as being lost. Lost from the most important relationship in life, a relationship with God.
A lost person can find momentary happiness, but never a lasting joy. When a lost person finds Jesus, they are no longer lost, but found and saved. They become a child of God and find joy in the family of God that will last forever. Today, we’re going to learn more about the secret to a joyful life. How you can discover joy for the first time if you’re lost. And how you can have increasing and full joy if you’re found.