True Joy

The other day I was doing a Bible study on the verse “His divine power has given us all things pertaining to life and godliness.” The author asked the question, “How do you feel about this verse?” Which is a funny question, since it doesn’t really matter how I feel about God’s word since it is true no matter what. But I decided to answer the question anyway. And to tell the truth, I struggled with my answer. Because there is a part of me that feels very skeptical about this verse. I mean, there are Christians across the globe who are starving, and need food. Christians in jail who need to be released. My lovely young friend who suffers from a debilitating illness and needs to be healed. And very often, I feel like I need a spouse, for my heart’s sake, for my purity’s sake, and for my sanity’s sake. Clearly this verse is talking about need on a different level than I am.
It helps, in some measure, to put things in perspective. I’m not the only person hurting in the world. There are women whose hearts ache because they are unable to have children. There are those who long to serve the Lord in a career of ministry, but have found the doors closed. And there are those truly suffering for our faith all over the world. My lack seems small compared to that. If the Lord allows me to be in need of something I perceive as vital to my life and godliness, there must be something else I need more. If I think I need a husband so that I can be fulfilled emotionally, satisfied sexually, or helped spiritually, and the Lord has not given me a husband, then I must look to the Lord to fill those needs.
But my even with some perspective, my pain and need are still legitimate. So I have to cry to the Lord, “Why do You say ‘no’ to real needs?” And the answer comes back sweeter than I could imagine. “My precious child, there is nothing you need more than Me. I am enough for every need, every desire of your longing heart. And I am able to satisfy your heart more completely than you yet know. Find true joy in Me.”
I admit I don’t have that nailed down yet. It’s true that when I feel the most pain and I choose to turn my heart to the Lord, there is a joy that I can’t explain, though the pain never fully leaves. But I think joy and heartache are not mutually exclusive terms here on earth. That’s why heaven is so wonderful, because there, joy is perfect. Every tear is wiped away and every heartache is extinguished in the beautiful presence of the Lord, where every need is perfectly met forever.