I am obsessed with all things joy! If I see a sweater that says joy on it, I must have it! When I see decorations with the word joy, they are required to make my home decor complete!
Whenever I see the word joy, it warms my heart and lights up my life because of what it reminds me of. During Christmas time it also lights up our neighborhood. I have a neon green and red flashing J-O-Y sign as a Christmas decoration in the front of our house! I love it! I hope the neighbors do too.
One Christmas when all my adult children were in town, I had them pose behind that flashing joy sign and I snapped a beautiful picture of them together. After all, my children are my joy! But can they be the true source of joy in my life? I do love them dearly. They’re not perfect, and they are everchanging. What about my husband? He certainly brings me joy—most of the time!
My home? My possessions? My friends? Where can we go for that perfect source of joy? You may already know the answer, but I hope you read on!
Years ago, I began viewing the three letters in the word “joy” as standing for three priorities in order of importance: “Jesus, Others, You.” It seemed like a nice biblical thought.
Jesus does tell us:
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness,
and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
One time, when Jesus was asked a question about the greatest commandment, He responded:
“Jesus answered by saying, "Love the Lord your God
with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and most important commandment.
The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39).
When we put Jesus first and take care of the needs of others, then we will have joy. Right? The Bible also says in Philippians 2:3-4 that we are not to be selfish but to take care of the needs of others before ourselves:
“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others.
Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.
Don’t look out only for your own interests,
but take an interest in others, too.”
These are beautiful Bible verses, which I strive to live by. Are you convinced that this proper ordering of priorities is the recipe for joy?
I was. And then one day, I heard a sister in Christ at our church share that the letters in joy reminded her of this: Jesus Only You!
“That’s it!” I thought. “The only true source of lasting real joy is Jesus!” He’s the only perfect one who doesn’t change. Hebrews 13:8 declares, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever!”
The source of true joy can’t be from people or things in our lives which are imperfect and can be disappointing at times. True joy can exist even when difficult times come, because the joy of the Lord is our strength which will get us through these trying times (Nehemiah 8:10).
Joy cannot depend on our circumstances. Jesus has promised to be with us always. Jesus, only You can bring me true joy!
We can rejoice each day with the angels who proclaimed our Savior’s birth on that not-so-silent, joy-filled night in Bethlehem. As recorded in Luke 2:10-11, “But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord.'"
Joy was born that night in Bethlehem to fulfill God’s promise to provide for all of our needs, as we trust Him here on this earth and someday completely in heaven!
I hope to see you there in glory! Stop by my place. You’ll recognize it. My heavenly home will have a neon JOY sign welcoming you! It’ll be hard to miss.
Until then, we sing Joy to the world! Jesus Only You to the world! The Lord is come!