Read: Psalm 21:1-7
This past summer, a close family friend was diagnosed with bile duct cancer. Her entire family was shocked. She is only 22, which made the situation all the more grievous. She’s spent countless days in surgery, sickness, and medical treatment, which have taken a huge toll on her. Despite this all, she’s displayed tremendous courage and character. She recently uploaded a picture to Instagram of some lyrics from “In Christ Alone” that she wrote out in beautiful, cursive handwriting. “No guilt in life, no fear in death. This is the power of Christ in me.” Those words hit me hard. I realized how much joy she had in Christ despite her pain and how much praise she was giving the Lord for all that He meant to her. She is currently still fighting her cancer, but she continues to be an inspiring witness for Christ through it all.
You don’t need to look far in our world today to see how much suffering is taking place. People all over the world suffer from natural disasters, displacement, abandonment, and physical sickness, like in my friend’s case. Life can present financial hardship, poverty, relational brokenness, and an endless list of tough circumstances. In a world that is so broken and seemingly hopeless, people often don’t see how happiness can be obtained at all. Thankfully though, we know that there is indeed a reason we can have joy amidst this fallen world.
Jesus tells us in scripture to “take heart” because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). While we will suffer with the rest of humanity during this life, the scriptures tell us that we can have joy because of a simple, but crucial truth: our hope is not in this world. It’s in Jesus.
Jesus is the only one who can satisfy and give us life to the fullest. He is the only source of joy. People like my friend suffering from cancer can truly attest to this. If we look to the things of this world to give us joy, we will be left hurting. But if we look to Christ to give us joy, He will give us deep joy. Not only in heaven one day can we find this joy, but also right here and now because of the joy of His presence. Verse 6 of our passage today says “For you make him most blessed forever; you make him glad with the joy of your presence.” This verse reminds us that it is God’s presence in our lives that gives us joy. Furthermore, we know that while we are on this earth, His Holy Spirit will guide us every day of our lives until we are united with Christ in heaven one day. This means that we can experience joy today, even in the midst of our earthly pain and trails!
Do you believe that only Christ is the source of true, lasting joy? Or do you look to other things in this life to make you happy? Ask God to show you that Jesus is the only real source of joy so that you can respond to Him with the praise He deserves.