I sought the Lord, and He answered me
and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to Him are radiant with joy;
their faces will never be ashamed.
This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
and saved him from all his troubles.
The Angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear Him, and rescues them.
Psalm 34: 4-7 (HCSB)
Did you notice that the psalmist didn’t say that he sought the Lord and was delivered from whatever was going on, but rather from his fear? You may come back with the fact that it says that the poor man cried and was “saved from all his troubles” — but what are the troubles? For me in my life, the troubles are primarily born somewhere between my left and right ears!
JOY: a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight
I was recently watching some videos from “Touching Lives,” a ministry of James Merritt, in which he discussed the difference between happiness and joy. He pointed out that one can be happy without knowing the Lord, but happiness (as it comes from external stimuli) is fleeting — as it is dependent on outside stimulation for its existence. True joy, on the other hand, comes from the LORD. One can have happiness but not have joy. One cannot have joy without the LORD.
When I am filled with cares,
Your comfort brings me joy.
-Ps. 94:19 (HCSB)
For much of my life apart from my relationship with Jesus, joy was a fleeting concept that I chased in many forms. What I thought was the acquisition of joy was usually passing happiness that came from euphoric feelings induced by things such as alcohol, drugs or anything that made me ‘feel good.’ Whatever it was always left me eventually feeling unfulfilled and empty. Thank God that the joy I have in my life today comes from a source that never fails and is eternal.