"You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore."
(Psalm 16:11 ESV)
Joy is found in Jesus. In His presence.
It's as simple and as hard as that. If I'm experiencing joylessness, I'm not fully entering into relationship with Jesus, despite the fact that I may have a "personal relationship" with Him. It's a daily thing. Not a once in a lifetime thing.
It may be I'm trying to find joy in other places. It's often in times of loss when I discover where my joy really truly is anchored. The truth is, anything in this world can be stripped from us: health, loved ones, our possessions. Only Jesus lasts. In The One Year Book of Hope Nancy Guthrie writes, "Jesus is the only permanent joy in this world and the next. If your joy is not found in Jesus, then you joy can be taken from you."
Guthrie calls this type of joy "solid joy." She continues on to say, "The reason our joy is secure and will last forever is because Jesus has been raised from the dead and will never be cut off from us again. By defeating death and holding the keys to death in his hands, Jesus will never die, and we don't have to die either. The resurrection of Jesus means that not only will he live forever as the source of our joy, but we also will live forever if he is the source of our joy."
In the stores and on the radio this season we will hear the song, "Joy to the world." But do we really know what it means? Joy for you and me? To live in the true joy of Christmas?
The rest of song answers where that joy is found: "The Lord is come!"
And so He has. May that knowledge and His personal presence bring me--and you--fullness of joy.