George Bernard Shaw said, “This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one: the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap, and being a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., was a member of the U.S. Supreme Court for 30 years. His mind, wit and work earned him the unofficial title of “the greatest justice since John Marshall.” At one point in his life, Justice Holmes explained his choice of a career by saying: “I might have entered the ministry if certain clergymen I knew had not looked and acted so much like undertakers.” Today In The Word, June, 1988, p. 13.
As a third-century man was anticipating death, he penned these last words to a friend: “It’s a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people are the Christians–and I am one of them.” Today In The Word, June, 1988, p. 18.
Let me say that joy is the by-product of obedience to God.
Many today want joy but are not willing to go to the only source of real joy, and that is none other than Jesus Christ.
The song writer had it right, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.”
Let me say in closing that Isaac was born by virtue of the promise: Sarah by faith received strength to conceive Hebrews 11:11, and God by promise gave that strength. It was not by the power of man’s own ability but by the power of a special promise that Isaac was born.
Abraham was old, and Sarah was old, and both were as good as dead; and then the Word of God took place.
Lesson: True believers, by virtue of God’s promises, are enabled to do what is above human nature, because the promises of God make us partakers of His divine nature.
2 Peter 1:4, “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
Joy originates on the inside and is not dependent upon people, places or things. Joy is one of the by-products of a right relationship with God and is characterized by inner peace, contentment, and hope. It is not based on what is happening on
the outside, upon one’s circumstances. In fact, this joy is present even in the most difficult of circumstances.
Joy is based upon having a right relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. And that should make all of us.