Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled. 1 Peter 1:13 (NIV) When you see the word therefore, you know Peter is pointing back to what he just said. Peter was saying that Christians are born again as the power of the risen Lord touches their lives. “Now,” Peter says,...
Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame. Hebrews 12:2
The desire for joy is universal. One thing that unites us all is that we all want to be happy.
Blaise Pascal said it well: “All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both… [Happiness] is the motive of every action of every man, even of those who hang themselves.”
Our desire for joy is never more intense than when we experience sorrow. Some of us carry great burdens, absorb great pressures, endure great disappointments, experience great struggles, and live with great sorrows. Over time, this fatigues the body and it drains the soul, so when you experience sorrow you need to know this—God is for your joy.
You may say, “If it is true that God is for my joy, then you’d better give me a good reason to believe it.” The cross is your reason to believe it! Christ carried your sorrows for the joy set before him, and so that there would be a joy set before you.
If you believe that the Son of God loved you and gave himself for you, you know that God is totally for you; and if God is totally for you, it must follow that he is for your joy. In fact, God is more for your joy than you are.
Do you think God wants you to be happy? Why or why not?