"There’s joy in following Jesus all the way;
There’s joy in following Jesus every day;
His love is like a rainbow when earthly skies are grey;
There’s joy in following Jesus all the way."
chorus 206, SASB
I've learnt that real happiness does not come from the accumulation of material possessions. And I am assured that God can provide you with everything you need - even things that money can't buy! This particular truth is one that is regularly mentioned in the choruses we sing like the one above, as well as in scripture verses.
So why do so many that I know and read of in the blogging community seem to have a difficulty with this truth? I don't deny they have a relationship with God, that He is walking with them. However, they seem to refute the possibility of happiness, stating that living life by Christian values will make life more difficult - giving a sense of fulfillment. I'm seeking more than just fulfilment - I'm seeking joy.
True joy, lasting joy, comes from an abiding personal relationship with Jesus, and trusting in His provision. Here's some quotations:
Romans 15:13 (New International Version)
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 1:8-9 (New International Version)
Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
I therefore conclude that Jesus wants me to be happy, to experience true joy. And that's the joy of following Him.