God is good, even when life is hard. And life, I have found, is very hard. There is always the possibility of disappointment and heart break. Life is merciless, as is this world we live in. Sometimes my heart breaks for the people that don't know Jesus. Not because of the unsure future, but because of the joy that only comes from Christ. I can't imagine waking up every morning and counting on the world, or people to fill me up and supply my joy. Our own parents let us down. The men and women who love us let us down. Nothing in this world is truly sustaining. Happiness is so circumstantial, and circumstances are so temporary. It literally breaks my heart to think of those living for this world, in this world, with nothing more to count on.
Think about how easily a good day can be ruined, or a good time can turn bad. Think about how our emotions are different with every conversation and every word, every song, every movie. It is so easy to lose happiness, and anger and sadness creep up before we even have time to think about why. Happiness can be lost or gained in an instant. Joy is the only thing that lasts. Joy in permanent, it is deep, it is unwaivering. Joy is what we have in Christ; it's what we get from him when we know that no matter how horrible a circumstance, the future is bright.
Joy is from Christ. Happiness is from the world. The thought of only having happiness makes me sad. I hate to think that people in this world have no hope, no happiness, and no joy. In Christ, there is always hope and joy. Happiness is temporary because it is circumstantial, but joy and hope are unfailing in an unfailing Christ.
My prayer is that everyone might experience joy and hope. My prayer is that those who are longing for more would find Christ; that they wouldn't turn to this world or that man or that drink for what they are missing. My prayer is that our hearts would be so broken by this world that we have to have Christ because there's no other way we'll make it. We realize that we HAVE to know him. We have to have joy and hope in Him because it is not coming from anywhere else. My prayer is that everyone this Christmas would know the true meaning of Christmas, and know that it is not about tacky sweaters and good gifts. It's about joy and hope that come from the savior, and the reason we celebrate is the savior. My prayer is for joy and hope, whether happiness is there or not.