In our last writing, we discussed an extremely important truth found in Matthew 13:44: God creates joy. In today’s writing, I want to look at the fruit of that joy. If God gives us joy, what does that actually do in and through us? Looking at what it did to the man in our verse would be a great place to start! His life was never the same. Joy changed everything. The man went and sold all he had because of it.
Think about selling everything that you own. That would be crazy! Unless, however, you are gaining something so much better on the other side. That is exactly what happened to the man. God was so much greater than all the stuff that he had. The man treasured God about everything else. The superior Treasure caused him to suddenly forget about all inferior “treasures.” Nothing compared to the new Treasure that he had found. He found the God who satisfied his soul with great joy and it changed everything. His grip on everything else was suddenly released.
Does this text mean that we all need to sell everything we have? Although I think that would be of great benefit to a lot of us, that is not the point of the verse. The point is that God is greater than anything else. The point is that when we treasure God above everything else, our joy in Him displaces our worldly desires for other things. In case you missed that: the point is that when we treasure God above everything else, our joy in Him displaces our worldly desires for other things. That, my friend, will change everything in our lives.
This man sold everything in his joy. It caused him to walk away from the stuff that used to fight for his heart’s attention. You can stop coveting the bigger house and the nicer car in your joy. Your joy in God can cause you to gladly be content with the house you have. You can stop your cycle of repetitive sin in your joy. Have you tried numerous ways of breaking the addiction, but can’t seem to do it? Your heart can gladly flee from those deceitful pleasures of sin, as it finds its satisfaction in God. Joy changes everything. It overtakes our desires for other things. It chokes out the worldly desires in us. We will not be sad and miss other things as we start to Treasure God above them all. We will have found something so much better!
This simple truth has the power to set some people free today. If you are in the bondage of treasuring shallow, empty things, you simply need more of God. He will bring you joy, and it will displace all of those desires and change everything about you. You will run out and sell everything you have in your joy. You will find new life as you no longer feel the urge for that repetitive sin in your joy. You will stop yearning for the new thing or the better thing in your joy. You will have found the one thing that you actually need. When you have what you need, you can joyfully kick all the unneeded junk to the curb.
Let me leave you by telling you to pursue the God of heaven. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. When you find Him to be the greatest Treasure in the universe, I promise you that your life will never be the same. The man in Matthew 13:44 stopped looking for anything else once He found God to be his Treasure. Not only that, but he also got rid of everything else. That may be your story. Oh, what a story that would be! That is not a sad story of loss, but rather a joyful story of great gain! Trade in this shallow world for the God who brings you deep, lasting, and satisfying joy. That joy is what your heart needs. That joy changes everything.