The goal of many people’s lives is happiness. They “work for the weekend” so they can enjoy life. Many pursue a career, not because they enjoy it, but so they will have the means to gain pleasure through possessions.
As Christians, our goal in life should not be happiness. We should seek to honor God and then joy will follow. I once read this list of ten rules for joyful living:
1. Give something away
2. Perform an act of kindness
3. Spend a few minutes with the aged; glean wisdom from them
4. Look intently into the face of a baby and marvel at God’s blessing
5. Laugh often
6. Give thanks
8. Work diligently
9. Plan as though you’ll live forever
10. Live as though you’ll die tomorrow
The world’s plan for happiness is to achieve it through frivolous living. But God’s plan for joy is through living for Him. Happiness many times is an emotional feeling, but true joy is a constant state of being, not based on surroundings but on your position in the family of God.
Happiness is usually temporary but God’s joy will last through eternity. Notice the following verse: “That the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?” (Job 20:5). Job’s friend Zophar was speaking to Job about the trials in his life. He points out that the happiness and the triumph of the wicked is short-lived.
While many may seem to have happiness through their wicked living, God promises to bless those who live for Him. Temporary happiness may be found in good times, but when trials come or difficult situations arise, those not living for God will quickly lose their happiness. But as you live for God and honor Him each day, even when hard times come, you can have joy because you know that God is in control.
Are you living a joyful life or are you seeking after happiness? True joy comes through living a godly life of walking with God. Maybe you once had joy but have recently lost it. Examine your heart and ask God to reveal any sin in your life. Repent of the sin which comes between you and the joy of the Lord today. When you are right with God, you can have joy no matter your surroundings.(From “Daily in the Word”)
Here’s the path to joy: Jesus first; Others second; Yourself last.