You have put more joy in my heart
than they have when their grain and new wine abound.
For the Materialist, despair is central and joy is peripheral. His ‘joy’ is found in things. His answers apply only to peripheral matters he thinks he has proven by material processes. It is tied to this earth and it is finite. He believes he has answers; however, they can only be answers to the small, insignificant questions. The Materialist can’t truly address the deep questions regarding origin, meaning and destination that stalk every thinking human being. For these questions the Atheistic Materialist has no answers. His answers are stuck in this world, so to speak. Thus, his ‘joy’ can only be found in earthly things that are short lived and ultimately empty. It will naturally end when these natural things he thinks he understands fail to produce happiness and success. With no answers for origin, purpose and destination, joy is peripheral and fleeting. Despair is central and profound.
For the Christian, joy is central and despair is peripheral. Our joy is in the truth of the answers we have been given. Origin – we were intentionally created in the Image of the Creator. Meaning – we are here to glorify the One Who created us and share the truth of His love and saving power with a world that is denying it daily. Destination – our destination is eternal life with Him. Material ‘truths’ offer no competition to these eternal truths. Joy springs from the heart of the one who realizes that the Master of all things loves His creation and seeks the best for all of His creation ALWAYS. There are peripheral things for which we finite creatures do not have answers; yet, it only makes sense that we wouldn’t understand everything. We see from a limited perspective. We take joy in knowing that the One who controls it all sees from an unlimited perspective and seeks our best interest eternally regardless of how things sometimes appear to us in our temporary, limited sight existence. Our joy is central and greatly transcends any material joy for it has been poured into our hearts by the Joygiver. Thanks be to God!
Ref. G.K. Chesterton, ‘Orthodoxy’