The pursuit of joy can appear to be like trying to grasp a handful of jello. Holding onto it can be like trying to keep shampoo from running through your fingers. The joy we achieve solely on our own is slippery and often temporary.
As we have discussed over the last few days, true joy comes from God. It is something we must seek from Him and cooperate with Him to achieve. As we follow God’s commands, trust Him, and turn over our troubles to Him, we achieve the true joy we seek.
As we see in today’s passage, promoting peace brings joy. We may see and hear numerous people in our lives and on the evening news talking about peace. But promoting peace is more than simply talking about it.
Think about promoting a product. One means of promoting it is through marketing. You advertise it, telling others the purpose of the product. You tell them of the wonderful things it can do or how it can make their lives better. You also demonstrate the use of the product, showing how it has a positive impact. You may get real-life users of the product to witness to the positive effect it has made on their lives. Finally, you may allow people a free trial to entice them into giving it an opportunity to prove itself. In other words, you use multiple avenues of approach to promote your product.
Peace must be promoted in the same way. It is not that we are trying to sell peace to others as much as it is selling it to ourselves. We must achieve peace for ourselves before we can promote it to others. Once we have achieved, at least a reasonable amount of peace within, we can promote peace to others. Our peace begins with two very basic ingredients—trusting God and loving ourselves.
I pray we all seek the true joy that comes from God. I pray we promote peace both within and without. I pray each one of us learn to trust God and love ourselves in our pursuit of peace and joy. Seek the peace of Christ. Seek true joy. Promote peace in your life. Demonstrate the peace you have. Show your joy through peace. Trust God. Love yourself. Love others.
Proverbs 12:20 Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy.