The Real Source of Deep, Abiding Joy

A sermon idea from Psalm 16.

Where, exactly, does real joy come from? That was the question asked by Douglas Carlton Abrams in the book he co-authored with both the Dalai Lama and Bishop Desmond Tutu called The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World.

Obviously, the two men had different understandings of God. But surprisingly, they both arrived at the same conclusion about the real source of joy.

Real joy comes from within.

Before you think I’m speaking humanistically, hear me out. I don’t believe that we, ourselves, create or produce joy. But it is within us that God meets with our spirit in the innermost parts of our souls and feeds, protects, and nurtures us toward real joy and satisfaction.

As a race, we humans notoriously search for happiness from outside ourselves. We seek to create ideal circumstances and taste all the pleasure the world around us can offer and yet, we can be miserable in the middle of it all.

According to Psalm 16, real joy is found in our union with God. It is as we discover more of the One who created us, shaped us, protects us, and communes with us in the inner sanctuary of our hearts that we encounter the only kind of joy that lasts.