Are you alive? You may be breathing…your heart may be beating…but are you alive?
The world offers endless ways for a person to feel “alive,” but are they accurate? How can you live fully alive? Some say you must fill your life with pleasure and thrills. Others say simply strive to be happy. But none of the above constitute true living. The world is a marketplace of counterfeits. It sells lust in place of love, entertainment in place of relationship, and temporary excitement in place of lasting joy.
The world is a marketplace of counterfeits. It sells lust in place of love, entertainment in place of relationship, and temporary excitement in place of lasting joy.
The answer to living fully alive is simple: joy. But what is joy and where does it come from? It is not some bubbly feeling that vanishes as quickly as it appears. Joy is the deeply-rooted sense of satisfaction and contentment that comes from living a life wholly submitted to Jesus. It is knowing that you are loved and accepted. It is knowing that you are free.
Peter mentions this joy in his first letter to the churches:
“And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory”
-1 Peter 1:8
This joy is something that the world cannot understand. In the same way that those who do not know God (who is love) do not know how to love (1 John 4:8), those who are not connected to God can’t possibly know His joy. As believers, we have the privilege of receiving this joy through our relationship with God. Jesus said, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” If you ask Him, God will give you the joy that you are thirsting for.
This is not all to say that you should stop doing everything that makes you happy. If they are good things, keep doing them. But don’t depend on them. Let God fill you with his Spirit and his joy that you may shine brightly in the darkest places.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.“