According to the 2017 World Happiness Report, reflecting the results of a survey of global happiness, Norway snatched the top spot on the list of 155 countries.

If there were a World Joyful Report, would Christians come out on top? I wonder. Jesus offered us overflowing joy (John 15:11). But let’s be honest; life’s pressures, sins, troubles, and mundane routines often rob us of joy. So where can we go to regain it?

The apostle Peter wrote to believers who were dealing with difficulties. They were being discriminated against and mistreated. Yet, shortly after his greeting, Peter burst forth in praise (1 Peter 1:3). Why? Because joy isn’t always based on circumstances; it can also come from confidence in certain things.

We can be confident of this: God has saved us “by his great mercy” (1 Peter 1:3). Imagine being destined for the gallows but then suddenly set free. That’s us! More than that, we’re given a brand-new life.

The second assurance is that God’s power keeps us secure! (1 Peter 1:5). No matter what happens, our future is set in Him. Our salvation is “ready to be revealed on the last day” (1 Peter 1:5), which means we now enjoy only a small part of what God has in store for us. “There is wonderful joy ahead”! (1 Peter 1:6). One commentator put it this way: “God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.”

Just think about it: We who justly deserve separation from God have been delivered from it through the death of Jesus Christ on our behalf. We’re no longer lost in sin and death. We’re no longer condemned. We have a new, “satisfying” life (John 10:10). God is our portion. May that fill us with true joy!

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 19:1-20