One of my favorite Geico Insurance commercials.
Yes, he does look happy. The actor playing the body builder is actually named Kali MUSCLE!
Someone has said that happiness comes from our happenings — that is, the circumstances of our lives that are pleasurable. But what about when those circumstances are anything but pleasurable? What then?
The Psalmist faced this question head-on when he wrote in Psalm 16:
10 because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead,
nor will you let your faithfulone see decay.
11 You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
Notice that true joy comes from counting on God’s promises to not abandon us. The Bible makes it clear that this promise is only for those who belong to God through the finished work of Jesus Christ. For those who reject the Good News about Jesus, only abandonment awaits them after death.
Where is true joy to be found? The Psalmist says, “You will fill me with joy in your presence.” How could JOY be the experience of someone in the presence of a totally holy God? The only answer is that the blood of Christ covers that person, making them able to be in the presence of God. Have you found that God has filled you with joy in His presence? If not, why not?
One day, the Bible teaches, all believers will be with the Lord. And what will we find? Many, many things, of course. The Apostle Paul briefly discusses the joy of heaven in 2 Corinthians 12. But the Psalmist puts it a bit more succinctly: “with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” How could anyone not want to be with that kind of God?
1. How could an accomplished writer and scholar like Isaac Asimov say: “I don’t believe in an afterlife, so I don’t have to spend my whole life fearing hell, or fearing heaven even more. For whatever the tortures of hell, I think the boredom of heaven would be even worse.” Had he not read Psalm 16?
2. How is joy different from happiness, do you think?