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I found a joy not contingent on people, places, and things. I found a joy everlasting – a joy based exclusively on something guaranteed to last forever. A joy that comes through a personal, intimate, life-giving, life-sustaining, life-altering, indescribably awesome, two-way, giving and taking and sharing and ever developing and deepening, relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Even on my hardest days now, no matter how dark the clouds that sometimes loom overhead, regardless of my circumstances, situations, losses, trials and tribulations, or triumphs and victories for that matter, I have the security of, and confidence in, a joy that goes on for eternity. No more is there a hole in my heart because of the happiness I sought and sometimes found but could never hold onto. For I am wholly filled with the assurance, and priceless gift, of the love and forgiveness and mercy of the Lord – and the promise of eternity spent with Him.
After all the years of going to desperate, seemingly endless lengths to find happiness, I learned that the way to a joy eternal begins with a single step. For the walk that Jesus took to the cross, and the indescribably horrifically gruesome death He endured on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, paved the way for the simple step to be introduced to, and to enter into, this joy I speak of. All I must do, and all we must do, is to repent from our sins, confess with our mouths that He is Lord, and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead.
Today, my joy is not only because I took that single step. Now, as a committed follower of Jesus, I study the Bible daily and learn to live the abundant life He died to offer us. And no matter the details of my life, the ups and downs and curves and turns and twists and circles and tumbles and spills and stumbles and falls, and no matter anything else of this life, I find joy in my Savior, my Lord, my Healer, my Redeemer, my infinitely precious and forever friend. My God!
… if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 ESV
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of lifec—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17 ESV