We Desire Joy

May 15, 2020

John 15:11

11  These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

Sometimes people think that what we really want more than anything else is we want to be happy. If you ask people, “What is the Number One desire of the human race?” the answer would probably be “Happiness.”

Let us all be happy and live within our means, even if we have to borrow the money to do it with. Artemus Ward 1850

We say we want to be happy above everything else.

I do not think that is true, and I’ll tell you why.

Let’s say that there was a pill that, if you swallowed it, would put you into a permanent coma. In this coma, you would have thrilling dreams. You would have uninterrupted happiness surges. You would have pleasure, delight and joy forever. You would be asleep and never in touch with anybody, but you would have never-ending happiness. Would you take that pill? NO! We wouldn’t do that!

What we want is that to which joy points.

We want joy in beauty. That’s why a scene, a mountaintop, or music sometimes pierces our hearts. We want joy in understanding truth. We want joy in getting lost in a great cause. We want joy in knowing and loving a person.

There is always a desire, an ache, a stab of pain in joy on this earth, because everything tells us, “Not yet, not yet.” No human joy satisfies.

I believe our chronic hunger for joy tells us we have been cut off from the reality for which we were made, and that reality is God. That’s why there is this restless bondage to joy in our world. That’s why the greatest joy that has ever been written about or sung or praised is what the Bible calls “the Joy of the Lord.”

I used to think that sounded like a religious expression that wasn’t very exciting, but if you ever get it, it will break your heart.

The Joy of the Lord is not that you are happy when you go to church, or when you’re singing worshipful songs, or when you’re quoting Bible verses. It is the joy that will come one day when you are not broken, and you finally see face-to-face, clear as a bell, that for which you were made.

That secret longing that you have carried with you like a wound your whole life long will be met. That’s the Joy of the Lord. You cry for that joy. You ache for that joy. You long for that joy.

Once there was a Man who had that joy. People saw Him. People knew Him. One time, He said to His friends, “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

Our quest for joy, our search for joy, our broken, messed-up, obsessive, endless pursuit of happiness tells us we were made for the Joy-Bringer.


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