What Is Joy?

When we think of joy, many mixed messages of the pursuit of happiness come to mind. True joy is not based on affection for creatures and things of this world. A Bible scholar defined joy as: “The Greek word for joy is chara, which is the experience of God’s presence in our lives, an experience of gladness and peace.” The only source of true and lasting joy is the Lord.

You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of gladness with your presence.” (Acts 2.28)

Affections of the Heart

The heart’s affections ebb and flow
At whim where’er desires lead;
Drawing other hearts to and fro —
So many conflicts have this seed.

All earthly things will pass away;
Hearts set on them will never rest.
Is peace lost in this disarray?
Is the heart’s joy fleeting at best?

The Lord is love — He’s eternal;
Peace ever flows from His domain.
In His presence, joy can be full —
By grace and truth He will sustain.

The heart should strive to redirect
All its affections to the Lord;
In Him all hearts can reconnect
To truth and love in one accord.

In Him, joy can flow full and free;
For hearts set on eternity.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.” (Philippians 4.5)

Lord, gather the scattered affections of my heart into your hands, and hold them near you, that my heart may find all its joy in You alone. Amen.

(c) Paul Buis, 2009