“My Joy”

Lust and joy do not go together.

Although lust provides pleasure “for a season,” (Hebrews 11:25), it never leads to joy.

If you are not experiencing joy in your life, you need to find out where you are not being obedient to Jesus.

Joy is not the same as pleasure or happiness that we generate. It is a gift from God. “Great Joy” (Luke 2:10) is given to us.

The only way to experience joy is by obeying Jesus. Note carefully the way Jesus framed this truth:

“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:10-11).

We don’t talk much about the joy—“My joy”—that Jesus experienced, exhibited and described above. It is a part of His life that was not in full view.

On that point, G.K. Chesterton makes a thought provoking observation as he ends his compelling apologetic, Orthodoxy. Speaking of Jesus, he wrote:

“I say it with reverence; there was in that shattering personality a thread that must be called shyness. There was something that He hid from all men when He went up a mountain to pray. There was something that He covered constantly by abrupt silence or impetuous isolation. There was some one thing that was too great for God to show us when He walked upon our earth; and I have sometimes fancied that it was His mirth.” [i]

I make much of the fact that I have overcome lust in my life—that I have finally understood that it was possible to be obedient to our Lord’s directive to stop lust from ruling in my heart and have made this a rule for my behavior. I do not say this to boast. Who really wants to talk about such things? It is merely an observation that I share frankly with the hope that it will encourage you to do the same.

I have found that overcoming lust in my life has resulted in joy, just as Jesus explained would come to those who obey Him. If you are not experiencing joy in your life, you need to find out where you are not being obedient to Jesus.

Jesus was joyful. He knew that the disciples were aware of that joy. They wanted this same joy and Jesus offered it to them and to us.

The sin of lust is ugly, tragic and monstrous because it feeds on natural desires and pushes us to use them in an unnatural way—a way not intended. By allowing adultery in our hearts and giving it room in our lives, we are effectively killing off the ability to experience the joy that Jesus desires to impart to us.

I urge you to overcome lust—to obey Jesus. True joy will result from this.

[1] C. K. Chesterton. Orthodoxy (Kindle Locations 2373-2376)

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