Keys to Joy: How to Unlock God’s Gift of Lasting Happiness

By Gaylyn Williams, , , With 0 comments

The following is Excerpted from

Keys to Joy: How to Unlock God’s Gift of Lasting Happiness


A group of army recruits marched around the base. Suddenly one broke away from the formation, and ran to a nearby door and opened it. “That’s not it!” he cried and got back into line. Every time the formation passed a door, he broke rank, flung the door open, and, with great frustration, exclaimed, “That’s not it!”

Finally the drill sergeant could take no more. He discussed the situation with the lieutenant, and they decided to send the soldier to the psychiatrist. In the medical office building, he ran down hallway after hallway opening every door, yelling, “That’s not it! That’s not it!”

After two weeks of intense observation, the psychiatrist told the man, “I’m sorry, but we’re discharging you from military service. You have serious problems.” After the doctor gave the man his discharge papers, he said, “You’re free to go.” Opening the outside door, the man shouted, “This is it!”

People are looking everywhere for joy’s door. They try one thing then another, thinking, “Maybe this is it.” They discover that it doesn’t satisfy, so they try something else, only to realize, “That’s not it.”

After years of seeking joy in the wrong places, when I found Jesus Christ, my heart cried out, “This is it! He is the One I’ve been looking for all my life.” For true joy, He’s the only source.

As I followed Christ, I discovered joy is somewhat elusive. Even though I had wonderful joy in Jesus, it was like the sunshine on a cloudy day—shining brightly at times, but sadly missing and longed for at other times. Sometimes joy flows from us like a gushing spring, but much of the time we must hold on for dear life.

In his article, “Joy: The Illusive Fruit,” Joe Aldrich said, “It takes time, diligence, patience and hard work to make an apple tree productive. Fruit is not instantaneous! It is a victory over weather, bugs, weeds, poor soil and neglect. If the Spirit’s indwelling presence guaranteed the presence of joy, every believer would be rejoicing all the time. We’re not. Joy, as a way of living, is a hard-won victory over entrenched attitudes of apathy, pessimism, doubt, unbelief and despair.”

Joy is one of God’s highest priorities for us. The Bible mentions it nearly six hundred times! I think the Lord talks about it so much because He really wants us to be filled with joy. He longs for us to live joy-filled lives!

Joy isn’t the momentary happiness we feel when everything goes right and problems are at a minimum. It doesn’t matter what’s happening in our lives. We can still have joy because it isn’t a feeling based on circumstances. Joy is an attitude based on our relationship with God.

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