And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours. (Isa. 61:7)
There’s a song that I sang in Sunday school when I was a child. Maybe you sang it too. “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart!” I bet you’re singing it to yourself now.
As a child I didn’t fully grasp the true meaning of joy. Like most of us, I thought that joy and happiness were the same. But, as I’ve grown in my relationship with God I’ve come to understand joy a little better. Joy is part of our character as Christians. Happiness is an emotion that can come and go.
Through the prophet Isaiah we learn about the promise of God to give the Israelites “everlasting joy.” Can you imagine joy that is never ending? How is that even possible? While happiness is impacted by the circumstances around us, joy is given to us by God and should define our lives no matter the circumstances. It is not something we can manufacture on our own.
Is there someone in your life who you would describe as genuinely joyful? Aren’t they some of the best people to be around? Those people often give us such a beautiful picture of the heart of Jesus.
The last line of that Sunday school song says joy is “down in my heart to stay.” Because of God’s promise, everlasting joy can truly be ours.
Ask God to give you his everlasting joy.
Deborah Rhodes is co-lead pastor of Parkside [Wesleyan] Church in Greenville, South Carolina. She is passionate about studying and teaching God’s Word.
© 2020 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.