Acts 13:36 David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers… (Follow up from yesterday’s post).
There is a difference between happiness and joy. Happiness is from what happens TO us. Joy is what is in us. Happiness and joy can either be from the world or from God. If from the world it leaves us empty. When from God it is lasting and eternal. Consider the words of Jesus before contemplating Acts 13:36…
Jn 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Jn 17:13 But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.
Jn 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.
Jesus’ joy is first, from Him. Second, it is different from the world. Third, it is not based on the world’s template by rather His template… which leads us to Acts 13.
True, full, lasting, complete, and fulfilling joy/happiness is found when we willingly desire and carry out God’s purpose for us on this earth. To do anything else is idolatry. Paul understood this when he left his agenda in life (Killing Christians to destroy Christianity) and carried out God’s call (Spreading the Gospel to the Gentiles through suffering and death).
Once David had fulfilled God’s purpose for his life… he died. Once Paul finished God’s purpose for his life… he died. Once Jesus fulfilled God’s purpose for HIS life… He died (“It is finished…”). And once we carry out God’s purpose for our life… we will also die. So the question remains… WHAT IS GOD’S PURPOSE?
The big picture answer is, to glorify Him (1 Cor 10:31). How that works out specifically is different for us all. As I read the Scripture, God is moving us along to accomplish His will (Is 46:9-10; Eph 1:11… “Who works all things according to His counsel…”). In other words, our purpose is to glorify God AS He works and moves us through our life. For I believe, each believer IS standing in God’s will… held in His hand according to Romans 8:28-29 and Ephesians 1:11.