I have a question out there for the Lord. Is happiness only found when love is present? Do we only experience happiness, more specifically true joy, when there’s the presence of love?
I know that the presence of love affects every aspect and element of our lives. For example, my cooking is best when I love the process. When cooking is a labor, the food tastes like it. But when my food is produced out of a place of love, it’s delicious.
Again I ask my question, “Can there actually be joy in our lives without love?” When there’s no love present, I can walk about with a scowl on my face. I’m just angry in general. Maybe that’s because life is a labor and the labor that is not of love is drudgery. Tasks performed from duty may give me a sense of satisfaction when completed, but I don’t have joy. I can even have the elation of relief that the task is complete, but is there that floatie presence of joy? No!
So I asked my question again, “Is happiness only found when love is present?” I’ve written on this blog the difference between joy and happiness. And as I’ve stated, I believe happiness is in happenings, where joy is in the presence of our Lord. But LOVE—is it the source of our joy? Yes! Life without love is just a list of to-dos, have-tos, and mundane tasks. Love infuses this life with radiance regardless of the tasks at hand.
Love Of Most Will Grow Cold
Is this world becoming so intolerable because the love of most is growing cold? Does the absence of love make this big blue marble just horrific? Is the rise of violence, rage and entitled anger increasing because love is ebbing from our world? As the end of the age draws closer and closer, and the masses of people shut their hearts and become selfish and demanding, does our life pursuit of love and joy become more remote? No! Less evident, yes, but not remote.
“And because lawlessness will abound, the love of most will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
The King James Version of these verses says, “the love of most shall wax cold.” The love that Christ refers to here is AGAPE love – God-sourced love. Because of the increase of wickedness, those who should have God-sourced love will wane, but he who endures to the end shall be saved. This is because when self-love rises, so does wickedness. And self-love and God-love can’t coexist. They’re actually polar opposites.
Love Of Most Will Become Self Love
If we don’t have the presence of love in our lives, we’ll begin to compensate ourselves with self-love. When we believe the presence of love has failed us, we become bitter, angry, and aggressive. We justify our selfishness. This concoction of fury is a cauldron of wickedness, and more and more this is what we’re finding in our world.
Love gives us joy. When God’s purposed agape fills our lives, tasks become opportunities, projects team with life and everything radiates vivacity. I don’t walk about as a hothead ready to blow at every inconvenience.
At times I’ve lived loveless, and it’s miserable for everyone I encounter and me. I’ve also had His love course through my being and everything glimmers. I can tell you that the latter is my preference.
In the past I have let the increase of loveless deeds cause me to self-protect. As I have withdrawn my heart, I noticed a frightening thing. The more I closed my heart, my heart cooled. A heart is required to stay open in order for it not to grow cold. We have masses of cold-hearts because we have masses retreating to save themselves. This just doesn’t work. If I close my heart, I join the source of the problem. The love of most growing cold!
Catastrophes, false prophets, loveless angry people, and the increase of lawlessness will precede Christ’s return. As for me, I wish to remain in love and evince the presence of His love. This happens only when I refuse to close my heart to a loveless world.
Love of Most Versus Christ’s Love
Christ came as the Lamb—vulnerable, unguarded, and sacrificial. Christ loved in the face of vehement hatred. This didn’t make Him a doormat, rather dependent on the Father. Christ was indwelt by the Father’s agape love towards a hateful world. Jesus now wishes to indwell me with the same love for my world.
As people become self-consumed and self-serving, entitled and violent, His Spirit in me can be different. I’m dependent on His life to express His love towards the unlovely, but he who endures shall be saved. His love and joy makes this world delightful, not only for me, but also for those who encounter Him through me.
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. As I have loved you, you should also love one another.”