In our world there seems to be a cure-all for all sorts of situations. When our hair turns grey, there is dye to change its color. When wrinkles appear, there is anti-wrinkle cream to help them fade away. When a tummy roll appears, there’s purpose designed diets and exercises to rid us of that excess. There are alleged cures for cellulite, lack of energy, and even pills to help our memory. The world has definitely given us a cure-all mentality.
In our physical worlds, we are disappointed, time and time again at failed cure-all attempts. All too soon, we realize the wrinkles may appear to fade — but in reality, they are still there. Even cosmetic surgery lasts but a little while in comparison to all the days of our lives. Perhaps we hide them away for awhile, but they always make their presence known to us, especially in the mornings!
Is it the same in our spiritual world? Is there a cure-all for our disappointments in life?Indeed, we have hope that never fades. The answer to our spiritual problems, or our emotional worries, lies not in anything temporary, but in the eternal Word of God. Only this week someone told me, “I like to think about Jesus and say a prayer when I’m worried, but I don’t have time to read the Bible and pay much attention to it.” My heart sunk for them. They had missed the whole point; not only of solving difficulties and finding strength to get through them, but of knowing full joy in their everyday lives. Subconsciously, this person is treating Jesus like a daily anti-worry cream to smooth away the wrinkles of their discontent. To say we will think upon Jesus, but ignore the Word of God, is the futile and foolish attempt to dissect Jesus — it can’t be done. How do we know that? Because in I John 1:1 it says, “He is Jesus Christ, the Word of life.“ Later on in that same chapter, verse 4, it says, “We are writing these things so that your joy will be complete.”
The Apostle John wrote this letter to remind the church of just what we have when we have Jesus residing in our lives. In this first chapter alone we are reminded that Jesus is The Word. Jesus is Eternal Life. Jesus is the Light that dispels all darkness. It is only as we truly come to understand what we have in Jesus, that we also understand and know true joy. Too often, we confuse happiness and joy, believing them to be the same thing. Not so! My father, Dr. Chuck Blair, wrote concerning this matter, “Happiness depends on circumstance — is temporary. Joy depends on relationship — is permanent.” There are many circumstances and situations which will provide us great happiness for a time, but the joy of Jesus stays with us no matter what takes place in our lives. I love the verse in Jeremiah 15:16 which says, “Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” Jeremiah understood the importance of relationship with God and that the very Word is God. One cannot dissect this truth without walking in error which will only lead to temporary happiness, and never to lasting joy.
Now, here’s an important point: Having relationship with Jesus is the key that unlocks the door that leads to joy. However, never forget, that once relationship is made, it is fellowship with Jesus that cements His joy in our hearts. To know Him and ignore Him will not bring joy. To know Him and plunge in to know Him more, all the days of our lives — that is the guarantee to joy, no matter the disappointments and hard times that life gives to us.
Jesus said in John 15:11, “These things have I spoken to you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Ask the Lord to help you remember that, it’s relationship and fellowship with Jesus, who is the Word, which brings complete joy. Anything less is only a fading happiness at best.