What is the secret ingredient for joy and happiness? King David discovered this amazing truth. In Psalm 16, he said to God:
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures evermore.
Psalm 16:11 (KJV)
How would you like to come to a place in life where, no matter what happens, nobody could take away your joy? Someone says, “What an ugly dress!” and you smile. The bank calls and says, “We made an error, and you owe us $5,000,” and you aren’t fazed.
Does that describe you now? Would you like it to describe you?
There is an ingredient, often unknown even to devout Christians, that can make our joy unbreakable. Jesus had it. Do you think He worried that the Pharisees did not like Him? Wanted to trip Him up? Wanted to kill Him? Nothing they did bothered Him.
Even when King Herod requested an audience with Him, Jesus could have cared less. “Go tell that fox I am going to continue working miracles and doing My Father’s will,” He said, probably to the amazement of His hearers. Jesus was chiefly concerned about remaining in the presence of His Father. He cared what God thought. That is the miracle ingredient.
In the presence of the Lord, the Bible says, our enemies perish—enemies such as sin and sickness. Why do some Christians have so many hang-ups and problems? Because they are not experiencing the presence of God. Whenever you flee from the presence of God, there is a vacuum, and that vacuum creates all sorts of imposter solutions.
What brings lasting happiness?
Saints and sinners alike are looking for something or someone to bring joy. We instinctively look to other people, saying, “When I get married, I am going to be happy.” Two weeks after the wedding, that ideal disappears. Then follows a litany of other hopes we hang our hats on:
- “I will be happy when I have children.”
- “I will be happy when my children are gone.”
- “I will be happy when I retire.”
When will we learn that none of these things bring lasting joy or happiness? When will we learn that God’s presence can bring us genuine and magnificent joy every day of our lives? When we have experienced the presence of God, we do not need other people to encourage us. We do not need affirmation from any other man or woman, not even our spouses!
In His presence is fullness, or saturation, of joy overflowing to everyone with whom you come into contact. Where is that joy found? In His presence. For further study, check out my book The Presence of God.