“You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.” (Psalm 4:7)
The quest for joy takes us to some strange places and involves us in some odd behavior. We have set up a formula for joy that involves material abundance or freedom from care. The world is struggling with the tragedies created by mankind’s search for happiness. Like those of the psalmist’s day, we seem to be convinced that having more will bring us joy at last.
We are bound to the quest for more grain. If we could have just a little more, we are sure we could be happy. But, alas, when we get more, two things happen and neither bring joy. First, we realize that there is more and so we want more. Second, we become afraid we might lose the grain we have and so can’t be happy because we are too worried about what we have. It is so hard to be content when there is so much more we could have and do. In the pursuit of grain we are left with no time to enjoy it, and so it brings us no joy.
When I was a boy, the war was on, and many things were rationed. There were no metal cars or trucks with wheels for a lad to play with. My cousins and I used corn-cobbs for trucks and busses. We had fun. I tied shoe boxes together with string and made a train. It brought me joy because it was all that was available. I was content. Now, all manner of things are available and desirable, and contentment is fleeting. The problem is buried in the center of what I and you want. Is it grain or God?
We seem to think that wine and drugs (whatever their nature) will take away the pain and sorrow. The world believes that somehow if we dull our senses, we will be happy at last. Perhaps that is true in a limited sense. But morning comes, and the wine is gone, and so is the dulled sense. Like the Ostridge we think we can bury our heads in the sand of “pleasure” and the troubles of the world will disappear. Doesn’t work and those who try it find that it only leads to slavery to the sand.
The psalmist found the source of real joy. Joy that lasts and lasts and never shrinks because of the availability of the cause of the joy. The only true source of happiness is a relationship with God who blesses us with all heavenly blessings in Jesus. The knowledge that we are forgiven by God and protected by His love is a happiness that is unsurpassed in this world. There is joy in the Lord.
Task for Today: Evaluate true joy. Can you be happy with a bus or doll made from a corncob or corn husk if you have something more wonderful? Can you be joyful with having Jesus or do you need grain and wine? Is what Paul told Timothy true for you? “But godliness with contentment is great gain,” (1 Tim. 6:6). Let God put MORE joy in your heart.