What is Pure Joy?
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. - Numbers 6:24- 26 NIV
What is that feeling so many people talk about that just makes them want to sing? What is the difference between normal happiness and joy, and what people mean when they say “pure joy?” I’ve heard this as the title of conferences, books, sermons. It is becoming a common phrase. But the thing itself is anything but common.
The Gospel is the truth of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world. It is the greatest love story ever told. And many of us understand this in our minds. But until we understand it in our hearts, we won’t understand this feeling of pure joy.
See, knowing Jesus is so much more than understanding the sacrifice he made on the cross. It’s so much more than memorizing Bible verses, saying the right prayers, or going to the right church. It’s a gospel of grace. It is a great gift. It cannot be earned, and it cannot be returned. And Christ’s Gospel, when you spend time with him every day, in prayer, in His Word; when you surrender to Him, put your fill trust in Him, the Gospel has a most powerful effect. It preaches not just to your mind, but to your soul.
You remind your soul of its worth in Christ by reminding yourself of just how much He loves you, how much He was and still is willing to sacrifice. This is true love. Not the things we read in romance novels, or see in Hallmark Channel movies. Those things are enjoyable, yes, but His love for you is so much more.
And when you really understand that, it sets you free. Free to laugh, free to dance, free to live life without fear. Something deep within you is shaken to your core, and it is beyond words. It is pure bliss. Inexplicable peace and fulfillment.
Despite all your mistakes, you realize you are priceless in His eyes. And that He has plans for you far beyond what your mind can imagine.
This is pure joy.
I am not a perfect person, and I went through a time in my life where I struggled to trust God. I struggled not to worry all the time. And I struggled with who I was and my self worth. It is alright to struggle sometimes. This side of Heaven everyone does. But when I focused on spending alone time with God day after day, out in nature, praying to Him, listening to Him, just letting go and surrendering to what He had to tell me, it changed my life. I did this every morning for months. Got outside early, sent for a walk, and just listened to God. Listening to Christian music, focusing on scriptures, being still.
“Be still and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10
I hope that I can continue to experience this pure joy in being fully known and accepted by God when I’m feeling blue. And I hope you can find this pure joy too.