Chara, or joy, is God’s gift of grace. Grace is God’s unmerited favor for a debt paid on our behalf. If we could really grasp and get our hands around this, we would never cease to express joy. You see, everyone of us deserves the death penalty because of our sin.
We deserve to die, but Jesus came and paid the price for us. He paid the price for our sin so that we may have everlasting life. You may not like the life you’ve been handed to live out on this earth, but honestly, this is no excuse to live a life without joy. God doesn’t promise us a perfect life…He promises us a perfect eternity. And as a believer, you have been given something you do not deserve, you could never afford or earn on your own. You have been given eternal life!
No matter what our circumstances, no matter what difficulties come our way–we all have a reason to shout from the rooftops! If we could fully comprehend and appreciate God’s gift of grace, if we really GOT IT, then we would be a people filled with joy. In this way, we have neglected “so great a salvation.” (Hebrews 2:3)
God’s salvation is undeserved. We did not earn our salvation by good deeds, credentials behind our name, our family heritage, our athleticism or good looks. Recognizing that salvation belongs to Christ helps us get over ourselves. Simply stated, “It’s not about us.” Sometimes we get so caught up in this world, this present age..our issues, our problems..that we become the center of our little universe. Salvation is His. Our life is supposed to be God-centered. It’s all about Him. It’s about the work He did on Calvary. God, therefore, deserves all the glory. When we decrease, He increases and then joy overflows.
The Greek word Chara means “rejoicing, gladness, enjoyment, bliss.” In other words, it means “to celebrate!” We are called to be a people filled with joy! We are to be a people spreading joy! Proverbs 17:22 says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person’s strength.”
Joy is the right perspective, a heavenly perspective, on life. It is a perspective that God is in control, no matter what. It is a perspective of praise because we have been ransomed. It is a perspective of selfless living–of putting others first. “Love others as yourself” is the key which unlocks joy in our lives. And then, love ushers in joy!
Isaiah 12:2, “Surely God is my salvation. I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song.“
Still not feeling it? Has the jewel thief come in and robbed you of joy? Have you been sidelined with fear? You are not alone. Why even King David, a man after God’s own heart, wrestled to remain joyful. Listen to his prayer…and consider making it yours today as well.
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.” Psalm 51:12