Pleasure and Joy

There is a difference between pleasure and joy. The Bible says, “He who loves pleasure will be a poor man” (Proverbs 21:17). When we love pleasure, we are poor, if that is what we are seeking. Scripture also talks about people who are “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Timothy 3:4). Do you love pleasure more than you love God?

When we come to Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell in our hearts. Joy is produced by the Holy Spirit. More than 100 Scriptures talk about the joy of the Lord. That was the announcement at that first Christmas: “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people” (Luke 2:10).

If you take a stand and mean it, you may suffer persecution. Some of your friends will drift away. They don’t want to be with people like you. You speak to their conscience. They feel uncomfortable in your presence because you live for God. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets” (Luke 6:22-23).

Jesus said, “Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.” Make the choice that Moses made—he turned his back on pleasure and followed God’s way. The Scriptures say, “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials” (James 1:2). Moses chose the joy of following God rather than having the pleasures of Egypt.

Are you following the Lord Jesus? Or are you following the pleasures of this world and fulfilling the lusts of your own heart?