Words of Worth

Joy Alert

January 6, 2012

Joy Alert! Today only! Free shipping and 25% off all items! In the wee hours of every morning during this past Christmas season I received this email from a popular clothing store. It was as if they were waving a flag to say, “Hey! Shop with us! We have some deals that will make you joyful this season!” While they did have some great deals, and while I did get in on at least one day of a shopping spree with them, the JOY ALERT must have expired by day’s end because the very next morning a new alert, promising more deals, would appear.

As much as I benefitted from the shopping deal, I must admit that the alert was more of a happiness alert than a joy alert. However, HAPPINESS ALERT is not as catchy as JOY ALERT and after all, the word “JOY” is just so in season at Christmas! I think it is very common to think that joy and happiness are one and the same, and part of that thinking is Charlie Brown’s fault. Yes, because even though he was a good man, Charlie Brown taught us that happiness is finding a pencil, pizza with sausage, five different crayons, learning to whistle and tying your shoe for the very first time. Indeed in all of those moments most anybody can be happy, but unlike joy, true Biblical joy, those happy moments are conditional and fleeting at best. What if you never find that pencil or have pizza with sausage? Are you not happy then? What if you lost one or two of your five crayons? Is your happiness then gone?

Happiness, even though the pursuit of it is an unalienable right in the U.S. Constitution, is dependent upon the right circumstances and often lasts only as long as the circumstances are favorable. Like the clothing store JOY ALERT, happiness frequently expires within a day.

The apostle Paul, while imprisoned and not in such favorable circumstances, wrote the epistle to the Philippians in which he captures what true joy and rejoicing really is! True joy goes beyond having a sister, catching a firefly and setting it free. It is often surrounded by unfavorable and uncomfortable circumstances. And unlike the clothing store flag waving a joy alert for “today only”, joy has to do with the flag that waves over the castle of our hearts indicating that Jesus, the King, has taken up residence forever within regardless of what is happening without! (sv)

Won’t you join us for our next series of blogs on the topic of Joy Makers and Joy Takers?

“Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and joy are in His place.”
(I Chronicles 16:7)

%d bloggers like this: