Are you wearing a mask of joy and happiness, while deep within, your heart is breaking? It’s quite easy to fool people regarding how we really feel. All you have to do is simply wear a deceptive smile or hum a cheerful song. A few months ago while shopping at the mall; I entered one of the gift shops and was greeted with a joyful “Good morning!” The young salesperson chattered brightly as she pointed out the shop’s unique products, shared my observations about the weather, helped me choose a nice gift for my wife, and neatly wrapped my purchase. “You must really enjoy what you’re doing,” I said. “Actually, I hate it,” she replied. “I’m only doing this because I have to. I can’t wait till 6 o’clock comes so I can join my friends. As I walked away, I reflected on this young woman’s behavior. She had certainly given me the impression she enjoyed her work. However, in reality, she was merely putting in time. I began to ask myself if I live like that. Do I greet people with a bright smile and pretend that I am serving God enthusiastically, even though there is no joy in my heart? Psalm 100:2 speak about serving the LORD with gladness. Some of us are masters at wearing a mask of joy, just like a good actor can look happy, while in reality his heart is breaking.
Of course, favorable circumstances in a person’s life can produce joy and happiness. A person with good health, an adequate income, and a nice house finds it easy to look happy and be joyous. However, the best joy, though, comes naturally from within. It will reflect a joy that remains even when a person has few of life’s material blessings. It comes from knowing God, believing and obeying His Word, being assured of sins forgiven, possessing eternal life, and anticipating the glories of heaven to come. The following is a short illustration taken from Our Daily Bread entitled “Our Joy List” … writer C. W. Metcalf was working as a hospice volunteer when he met 13-year-old Chuck, who was terminally ill. One day Chuck gave Metcalf half a dozen sheets of paper with writing on both sides and said, “I want you to give this to my parents after I die.” It’s a list of all the fun we had, all the times we laughed.” Metcalf was amazed that this teenager on the verge of death was thinking about the well being of others. Metcalf delivered the list. Years later he decided to make a list of his own. Surprisingly, he found it difficult at first to compile his “joy list.” However, as he began looking within each day for the moments of laughter, satisfaction, and joy, his list began to grow.
Genuine happiness, a mood of contentment, joy, and hope, doesn’t depend on the country one lives in or the circumstances of one’s life, but depends on a right relationship with Jesus Christ. As David observed so succinctly in Psalm 144:15, “Happy are the people whose God is the LORD!” In the book of Romans the apostle Paul gave these reasons for joy: We have peace with God through Christ, access into grace, and hope of future glory. We have assurance that tribulation produces perseverance, which in turn builds character and leads to hope. We have hope that does not disappoint, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts. Jesus said, “Rejoice because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20), and the apostle Peter spoke of the reasons believers can rejoice with joy inexpressible (1 Peter 1:8). Have you compiled a joy list lately? I would venture to say that any joy list that we compile will no doubt include many references to the presence and power of Jesus Christ. Because, no matter what our circumstances may be, joy is His gracious gift to all who trust in Him. Even as Jesus faced the cross, He looked beyond its agony to the glad result of His sacrifice. He told His disciples, “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 5:11). So, my friend and brethren, why not begin your own joy list today. It can be a good reminder of the Lord’s faithful love and the gladness of heart He brings into your life.
(1) Do you have the joy spoken of in the Scriptures?
(2) Or, are you wearing a mask of joy like the salesperson I met?
(3) Remember that true joy comes only from knowing Jesus Christ as Savior!