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Joy

One of the most troubling struggles for Christians is how to go about fulfilling our many innate desires—most notably, our desire for joy. We strive to attain these things, often while misunderstanding the essence of these life-giving elements in their purest, most God-intended form. It is in those dark, empty abysses of our hearts that we crave our Creator’s affectionate gifts.

We long, ever so deeply, for the completion of our souls by Jesus in all of His beauty. In these places, we are called to be still. To lay prostrate, face to the dirt, allowing senseless and distracting thoughts to drift away as we relax into our true identity as God’s beloved children. It is in these places of stillness, where striving ceases, that we find our deepest desires fulfilled by the grace of God.

Our Father wants us to understand these desires that He has given us. Just look around: God knows we could all use some encouragement.

In the words of C. S. Lewis, “Joy is the serious business of heaven.” It’s serious because, when we observe the world and each other, we immediately get the sense that, in the words of Dr. Chris Hall, “all is not as it should be.” Joy is the reason for the existence of the universe—the reason for you and me. Creation brought God joy.

In fact, He becomes so joy-filled at the sight of us being joy-filled that, when we accept and recognize the joy He gives, His desire for the world begins to be fulfilled.

Allow this truth to lift your burdens for a moment as you reflect upon the incomprehensible goodness of God. All He wants is for us to be able to experience Him, and for Him to be able to experience us. This is to His glory. It makes us complete, as we were meant to be. This is the reason for the Gospel, and this is why He has given us Jesus: so that our hearts may be opened up to have a relationship with Him.

As I ponder this, I picture the story of Mary and Martha told in Luke 10. In a state of panic and worry, Martha scurries around her humble abode, trying to make it as presentable as she can in time to host Jesus, the King of Kings. Well, who could blame her?

But in all of her laboring, Martha completely misses the point: The joy is right in front of her. He does not want us to do anything that distracts us from Himself and from discovering our completion and fulfillment in Him. Why? The simple answer is that He loves to lavish His beloved with Himself. He is the key that fits so perfectly into the holes of our hearts. Jesus knows who He is, even when we don’t.

Why, in all our striving, do we tend to miss what we are really searching for? Let us not ignore the joy placed right before our eyes any longer. Most essentially, we must recognize who Christ is, fixing our eyes upon Him, our Joy.

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