Jesus, The Source Of True Joy. 03/20/2014 (Evening thought)

Psalms 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

This passage of scripture describes what a relationship with the Lord Jesus results in, complete satisfaction, fulfillment, and true joy. When we give our lives to Christ, it's not a relationship that merely consists of do's and dont's, but rather an intimate relationship where Christ dwells in us and we in Him. God desires that we have not only a theoretical knowledge of Him, but much rather a hands-on, intelligent understanding of Christ that appreciates and loves His character, and recognizes that the instructions given in His word are for our best temporal and eternal good.

This is why the apostle John, in referencing the union that existed between the disciples and Jesus, says that they had seen and heard and handled the The Living Word, meaning that their relationship was all encompassing, and they just loved to be in Christ's presence. It's very important that we understand this point. Let's read:

1st John 1:1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;   3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.  4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.

The words pleasure and joy have been greatly distorted to mean experiences and material things which could never bring a person true happiness and contentment. Smoking cigarettes, gambling, and flirting are all advertised on television as activities to be greatly desired, that's why the paid actors always wear a smile when promoting the so-called "pleasures" of these activities. But the problem with momentary rush of pleasure we may experience is that it never lasts, and therefore we have to keep seeking a a more intense and acute "high". This what happened to Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, who kept pursuing an elusive joy that was never realized but rather ended in their untimely demise.

The Lord understands the deceptive nature of what is often  portrayed as "pleasure", that's why He gave an object lesson to the woman at the well. In His conversation with her He used the well of water to represent the broken cisterns of this world, to which millions are turning for satisfaction and pleasure, and thus He made a very profound statement that we all would do well to ponder, for it is applicable to everyone who is searching for true joy. Let's read:

John 4:13 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:  14 But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

Here in verse 13 Christ describes the transient and fleeting nature of the pleasures of earth which often end in harmful addictions. That's why He states that a person in pursuit of only earthly happiness, will thirst again. But then He contrasts the temporary pleasures of earth with the lasting joy and contentment that only He can give. It is to this experience He is inviting every member of the human family, and it is a sad commentary that in our day there are so few who respond to His call, even though true satisfaction is within the reach of all.

Back in the Caribbean islands there is a drink that has become widely popular among natives, namely Malta. On a hot, sunny day some folk will have an ice cold one, and then they will have another, not because they are thirsty, but because is tastes so good. On a much grander scale is the water of life that Christ offers to us. We keep drinking and coming back for more, not because we are thirsty, but because God is so good. That's why the following verse of scripture is written. Let's read:

Psalms 34:8 O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.

In our day there is the tendency and the temptation to esteem the eternal joys of Christ as being of lesser value than the pleasures of earth. There is the disposition to exert most of our energies in the pursuit of the transient joys of this world, but God is calling us to an experience much , deeper, much more satisfying, and much more fulfilling than any earthly thrill can give. That's why we will end our brief commentary with a reminder to all, that God has prepared something much better for those who look to Jesus as the source of true Joy. Let's read:

1st Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.  10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

May we respond without delay to God's gracious overtures to communion with Him, for if we do, an entirely new day will dawn within our hearts. "Good night" and God bless!