THE TREASURE CHEST OF JOY! Everyone it seems wants to be happy when the real need is to find joy. Happiness for most people seems to depend on circumstances, people, things, or a multitude of other things. I spent some time reading quotes on happiness from a lot of well-known people and what I found is that there is no common consent on what constitutes happiness. George Burns said, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city.” Daniel Boone said, “All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse, and a good wife.” Martha Washington said, “I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.”
True Joy on the other hand is found in God’s treasure chest. God’s Word says, “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart,” (Psalm 19:8 NIV). As Galatians 5:22 reminds us Joy is a spiritual fruit in our life that comes from the Spirit of God. In this life we choose what we inject into our life. We can fill our life with the things of this earthly life or we can choose to fill our life with the things of God that will help us to live successfully in this earthly life. One of my favorite shows on TV is “The Pickers.” I am amazed at how many people have homes, garages, and warehouses full of “stuff” that they have been collecting all their lives. And many of them have no intention of ever selling or parting with any of the stuff. The stuff is their pride and joy. And many left it all behind when they departed from this life. On many occasions the people “picking” are dealing with relatives of deceased people who left all this stuff behind. And for the most part the relatives just want to sell the stuff and get rid of it.
In the area in which I live we have a lot of storage facilities because people do not have enough room in their homes to store all the “stuff” they possess. And I must confess that at the present time I rent one of those units because of a location move and our continuing progress in downsizing. This process brings me no happiness. It is a chore but it is also a reminder of how easy it is to accumulate “stuff” in America without even trying to do so. And it is a reminder that “stuff” will never bring true happiness.
It is easy to get sidetracked in life while seeking happiness but really needing joy. We fill our homes and lives with stuff and misplaced values and goals when what we really need is God in control and guiding our lives. God wants us to come to His treasure chest, the Word of God, each day seeking the guidance of His Holy Spirit and reading and learning His precepts. This will allow us to know how to live and what to fill our lives with because, “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.” ("Daily Reflections On God's Word" Volume 1 by Dr. Chuck Davis).