Ep 6: Happiness & Joy * Nicaragua Video Mini-Series

This video is the sixth episode in my mission trip video series to Nicaragua.

EP 6: Happiness and Joy

Whoever says you can’t buy happiness is wrong. I know I have some happy triggers that are easily solved by money. Take me to a nice dinner with a new dress and dancing and you’re gonna see one very happy lady- like clockwork.

My happiness is often a slave to my happenings.

There is a concept called hedonic adaptation, that basically says, humans will return to their natural state of contentment after a big life change. Lottery winners tend to end up mentally right back where they started.

It’s when we continue to focus on and draw from this knowledge that we can experience and maintain joy in our lives. A joy that is so much bigger than anything this world can dish out.

Because unlike our circumstances… Jesus Christ never changes. And He choses us. I can think of no better reason to allow one’s heart to sing with joy.

1 Peter 1:8-9

8 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,
9 for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

So we can’t count on happiness.

But joy on the other hand… Joy is different.
It cannot be bought. Or forced. Or produced.

Joy is a deep richness that transcends circumstances. And so it’s gotta be something more than an emotion. Bigger than this rock we live on. It must be spiritual.

For Christians, we get our joy from knowing the One True God and accepting that He paid the price for our souls. It’s pretty heavy stuff.

So we need Him. Big time. For all sorts of reasons.

I personally have found a curious joy in knowing how much I need Him. It is super uncomfortable and scary to look at all the ways I was and still am messed up… but then there is a freedom in it. And I remember that He already knows… everything.

And yet He never stopped loving me for a second. Not even a nanosecond.

And when you got that joy, joy, joy, joy down in your heart- can’t nobody take that.

So even when you get to sleep on a dirt floor… joy.
And even when you don’t have running water… joy.
And even when your skin looks and feels like you rolled around on a cactus only to realize it is indeed heat rash… joy then too.

Because joy can be unshakable. Joy will keep you rejoicing like Paul even when you are in jail, and persecuted for your faith and ultimately killed for what you believe to be true. That’s joy.

Romans 5:3-5
3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Poured into our hearts. I’m convinced God runs a beauty parlor. Joy looks good on us.

If we could measure happiness and joy which sounds impossible, but if we could – I’m not sure who would come out on top. Americans who have so much material things and opportunities to make ourselves happy, or Nicaraguans who have to rely on God daily for food and provision thereby making gratitude a much more natural state of being. Maybe even a state closer to joy?

So God sent His Son to save a wretch like me.

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