Monday, August 11, 2014

The Search for Joy

The death of Robin Williams today has me remembering three things.  First, the fun I had as a boy watching Mork & Mindy.  Second, the following devotion from Richard Wurmbrand.  And third, Robin's wife and family, and all the many who ache on the inside.

"My joy might remain in you" (John 15:11).

It is said that a man suffering from melancholic depression visited a psychiatrist, who recommended frequent travels.

The patient answered, "I am traveling continuously and it does not help."

"A glass of wine drunk at a happy party is useful," said the doctor.

The reply was, "I drink whole barrels of alcohol and remain sad."

The doctor had an idea.  "There is a clown in town who is unequaled.  People cannot control their laughter listening to his jokes and seeing his tricks.  Spend your evenings there."

The patient said, "I am that clown.  I gladden everyone except myself.  And the joy of those who watch me does not last."

The joys which this world gives are illusory, because in the depths of our hearts we realize they are mere escapes from the fact that we are men sentenced to death, men burdened with guilt.  When we laugh, there is in us the remembrance that we made others weep.

Only God gives the real joy.  He has shown in the resurrection of Christ that He has forgiven all our sins.  Jesus our Lord "was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification" (Rom. 4:25).  The resurrection of Jesus is a pledge that we will resurrect, too, because we belong to Him.  We have an inner joy which continues even without external stimulants.