A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. -Proverbs 17:22
On many occasions during my daily devotions, I will read a chapter of Proverbs. I love the book of Proverbs. Since there are 31 chapters in Proverbs, you can line them up with whatever day of the month it is and read one a day. I heard a pastor preach on Proverbs many years ago and he recommended reading a chapter a day. He gave a great message on the wisdom of the book of Proverbs and it has stuck with me ever since.
The above verse from chapter 17 of Proverbs is full of truth. That's one of the many things I love about Proverbs....such power packed truths in just a few sentences. And even though I have read through the book of Proverbs more than 25 times (at least), I'm always amazed at the newness of it. There always seems to be something new that jumps out at me.
As I read my social media pages and watch the news outlets, I see such a lack of joy in people. There is so much pain, so much anger in people. Some self inflicted, some caused by others. People turn to so many other things looking for happiness and joy that they miss the true source....Jesus Christ. He is the source of true joy. True peace.
I've been very blessed in my life. I have a wonderful marriage to a godly woman. I've been blessed with beautiful children. I have almost always been successful in my career choices. I have lots of true friends. This isn't to say that everything has always been perfect. I've experienced many failures and many hurts. But through my faith in Jesus, I have always been able to experience joy, even through the trials in life. In fact, I'm not sure how I would have made it through some of those times without Him.
I guess the reason for this blog is to encourage someone. I know so many people who are struggling through life. You don't have to look very far to find someone hurting. I believe sometimes joy is something we can choose. I think we sometimes choose to be miserable and wallow in our pain. Not always, but sometimes. But even in those times of overwhelming pain, we can have joy. There is a peace that surpasses all understanding as Philippians 4:7 says. That peace and joy comes from Christ. Everything else is temporary. He is eternal.
I have given my testimony on several occasions and years ago I ended a sermon I preached with it. Here's a snippet of my testimony...I struggled with drugs, sex and many other things when I was a young adult. I was always trying to mask my pain with those things, but found only temporary satisfaction. But once I gave my life to Jesus a huge burden was lifted. I literally could feel the burden go away. I was forgiven and set free. Ever since that time, I have felt a joy that is explainable. It isn't something that I conjured up. It is a gift from God. One that is available to you who are reading this right now.
God has since given me a beautiful (Proverbs 31) woman to share this life with. He has given me lots of children! I've realized that it isn't money or success that brings joy and happiness....but only through relationship with our Creator and with those around us. If you're like me and have tried to mask the emptiness in your life with worldly pleasures, turn to the one who can give you true peace and joy. Jesus Christ. He loves you!
Thanks for reading and until next time....God bless! -Steve