How do we find and experience true and lasting joy? What is the relationship between joy and questions about God?
GOD: THE GOD OF EVERLASTING JOY
The one true God—who made everything, who rules over everything, who orders all things—is a God of everlasting joy. Unlike us, God is uncreated and eternal. There never was a time when God was not. And the Bible teaches that our God is the God of everlasting joy. God the Father taking delight in God the Son through the joy of God the Holy Spirit. A joyful Trinity in need of nothing outside of Himself to experience joy.
This God, the Living God, created all things—including humans. We, humans, were made in God’s image and created to know and love God. Our hearts were designed to flourish by pursuing and experiencing joy in our Creator. This joy comes as we trust and love God, live with God, know God, and love God. Eternal life—and eternal joy—is found in knowing God (John 17:3).
SIN: THE THIEF OF JOY
We have all turned away from God and chosen the path of sin (Rom 3:23). Sin is the thief of true joy. It leads us to love created things above the uncreated Creator. It leads us to turn away from God’s good design for our lives to sorrowful path of darkness. It leads us to view God as boring, irrelevant, and an enemy of personal happiness. It distorts our view of God and leads us to think hard thoughts about Him. It cuts us off from life with God and into alienation from Him. It promises us joy, but only leads to sorrow, death, and despair.
All of us live under this dark veil of sin, blind to true life and true joy. We try to top our joy with earthly pleasures (relationships, possessions, activities, money, success), but these pleasures are fleeting and, if ultimate in our hearts, corrupting. We need a rescue from our present state. We need a path back to true joy.
JESUS: THE BRINGER OF JOY
Jesus Christ, God the Son, is the bringer of true and everlasting joy. He had, and has, no sin (Heb 4:15), but came to deliver His people from sin (Matt 1:21). His mission was costly, but carried out in joy: “For the joy set before him, he endured the cross, despising its shame” (Hebrews 12:2). Jesus went to the cross to die for our sins and bring us back to God. His death and resurrection take away the power and penalty of sin and proclaim loudly the astonishing grace of God: ‘for by grace you have been saved’ (Eph 2:8).
Jesus defeated sin and death and brought in the way of eternal life (2 Tim 1:10). This is the GOSPEL (“good news”) from God, about what God has done for us, in Christ. This is the path to joy: Jesus.
COME TO JESUS: TRUE JOY AWAITS THOSE WHO BELIEVE
True joy is offered to those who turn from their sins and place their faith in Jesus Christ. Here is the way to true and everlasting joy: coming to Jesus through faith in him. If we place our faith in Christ and turn from our sins, we will be saved from our sins (Rom 10:9-10). It is by faith alone that a person might be right with God again (Gal 2:16), not by our good works or efforts (Titus 3:5). We are saved by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-9), and saved to joyfully do good works for God (Eph 2:10). True joy awaits all who place their faith in Jesus Christ.