October 11
Changing pleasures
Hebrews 13
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (v.8)

We said yesterday that pleasure and Christian joy cannot be equated because pleasure depends on circumstances -- Christian joy does not. Another difference is this -- pleasures come and go. Look back over your life for a moment and think of the changing things that have given you pleasure over the years. Perhaps, when you were a child, it was a bicycle that brought you pleasure. Or a football. Or a doll. Then when you entered your teens, it was something else. A relationship, perhaps -- or a sport. In later years, the things that gave you pleasure changed again. The theatre, books, an armchair ... the things that give us pleasure change with changing years. But the joy of God is constant.
 
Yet another difference between pleasure and joy is this -- pleasure satiates. It is easy to have too much. And when the point of satiety is passed, a sense of revulsion sets in. The things for which we crave become repulsive to us. Joy, however, never satiates. A Christian says: "We have enough, yet not too much to long for more." A final difference between pleasure and joy is that pleasure always remains superficial. It is like a Christmas party in a home where there is no true understanding of Christmas -- a party, but a party without purpose; a coronation, but no monarch. Joy, however, is deep. It bubbles beneath the personality, no matter what the circumstances. Joy, supernatural joy, is true bliss.
 
Gracious Father, fill me with this joy as I go out to face the world today. For the world is sad and I must not add to its gloom. Help me to radiate Your joy wherever I go. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.

For Further Study
1. What was Habakkuk's testimony?
2. Why could he say this?