Joy and Abundance
Jul 13, 2020 1950
The world is trapped in a seemingly fruitless chase after happiness. There is a great pretense of happiness, as you can easily see from people’s social media accounts, such as Instagram. However, this pursuit of happiness seems fruitless because the reality is usually otherwise.
What is the connection between joy and abundance?
The social media world is filled with pictures of beautiful people wearing expensive clothes, leaning against expensive cars and boats, or relaxing in expensive locations. Everyone seems to think that if they had more money they would be happier. But that isn’t the case at all.
Of course, poverty makes no-one happy does it? Poverty brings with it its own problems. However, it’s still possible to be happy and poor.
A study by researchers at Princeton University demonstrated that millionaires are no happier than people on an average salary! Despite this, our culture seems to desperately drive us to seek more money in the find more happiness!
People get the ideas of possessions and happiness back the front. Abundance doesn’t give you joy. It’s joy that gives you abundance. That’s why the Apostle Paul says,
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation whether well fed or hungry whether living in plenty or in want (Phil 4:13 NIV).
For Paul “being content” doesn’t just mean to just “grin and bear” what life throws at him. Not at all! For him “being content” means to positively rejoice:
Paul actually started off very well off, being born into a prominent and wealthy family. Yet after meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus, we don’t hear anything else about his money. It seems he found a different kind of treasure, and his money went to fund the work of the sharing the Gospel. The apostle Paul survives by making tents and sometimes by the financial help he receives from the church. At times he ends up cold, hungry shipwrecked, stoned and left for dead, and imprisoned multiple times.
Somehow in every circumstance Paul is still able to find a treasure that is greater than any amount of financial or material possessions. And once you discover that abundance in your life you will never lack again.
Abundance doesn’t give you joy. It’s joy that gives you abundance.
So when Paul says he has learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, what is that secret? What is this treasure that he has discovered? He tells us in Colossians 1:27. It is
the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
How can you have the presence of Christ within you and always with you? You can have it by accepting the Gospel.
This will bring a joy into your life that will give you abundance, as the apostle says, in any and every situation whether well fed or hungry whether living in plenty or in want. It’s an abundance that transcends the abundance of this world. The apostle Paul continually wants to rejoice. His joy in Christ gives him an abundance beyond measure.
In the end, abundance doesn’t give you joy. It’s joy that gives you abundance.
If you have Jesus, you have every reason to be content with what you have.