Everyone on earth is on a frantic search for what will give them lasting peace and make them have a constant sense of fulfillment. Many have tried different means to achieve this aim. Some pursue power, others, wealth and fame. Some have tried to build strong human relationships, believing that as long as they have people around them, they will be joyful. Religion has been proffered as the answer by yet another group of people but one does not need to look very far to realize that many religions in the world have been a constant source of pain and sorrow for many rather than the haven of rest they promised to be. Men and women who have walked through the halls of fame, riches and power all eventually come to the same conclusion: there are certain questions in life that they cannot answer. Questions like why one is childless despite having the money to pay the best doctors in the world? Why would the richest men and women in the world die or lose their loved ones to diseases that are tagged incurable? Why would a baby be born just to die? Why would people who used to love each other deeply be suddenly seen signing divorce papers?
This has caused some people to give up entirely on the possibility of joy in this present world.
What then shall we say? That everyone should resign to fate, hope for the best but prepare for the worst in this present world? God forbid!
There is a way out! One can live a joyful, peaceful and fulfilling life in this present world no matter how short or long such a life is. Joy, peace and fulfillment in life are inseparable. Without peace of mind, you cannot be joyful. Joy is an evidence of a fulfilling life.
How can one person have all three? Stay with me as I reveal the secret to you in this blog and subsequent ones.
First, you need to be able to tell the difference between joy and happiness. They are not the same.
The word "Joy" comes from the Greek root word "chara" which means "to be extremely glad" while the word "happy" is from the Hebrew word "asher" meaning "to be blessed or to set right" (Gen. 30:13; Deut.24:5)
Joy is internal and independent of external factors. So, that means you can be joyful even when bad things happen. Happiness on the other hand is a function of the circumstances and events that happen in your life. When you buy a new phone, bike or house, you are happy but when your loved one dies, you become unhappy.
In the Bible, the word "happy" and its variants occur only about 30 times while "joy" and "rejoice" appear over 300 times.
Honeymooners feel extremely happy in the days and couple of months that follow their wedding. Without joy, they begin to disagree and become disconnected when children become part of the family. The challenges of raising a child may cause them to drift apart. This leads to divorce and consequently single parenting. In the beginning, it was not so!
Jesus said in John 16:33 that though His disciples would face various tribulations on earth, they shouldn't lose their joy because He had overcome the world!
Knowledge of the fact that God is capable of saving you and your loved ones from death and in death will help you maintain a joyful state even when they are parted from you in this world. You know they will be raised to life if they have lived their earthly life according to God's standards. So, ask yourself whether you are doing things that will bring you joy or simply trying to make yourself happy whilst mistaking it for joy?
From a Roman prison, apostle Paul wrote an epistle to the Philippians encouraging them to be joyful. In fact, the book of Philippians has been tagged the Epistle of Joy because the word occurs about 16 times in the epistle alone. In it, Apostle Paul teaches how one can have true contentment in Christ despite difficult circumstances. Phil. 4:4-7 contains deep insights that are practicable and true!
James, in his Epistle, instructs that you should have pure joy when you are faced with various trials and affliction. Jam. 1:2-4 clearly shows that perseverance through trials will make your faith mature and strong.
Someone posits that while you may not be able to determine what happens to you, you have the power to determine what happens in you. I, therefore, call on your inner man to choose joy today and seek those things that will bring joy into your life. Live by divine standards and you will find that nothing of this earth will be capable of stripping you of the Joy and fulfillment that God has ordained for you. You were fearfully and wonderfully made, after all!
In my next blog, I will expose you to the Inhibitors of Joy in your life and how to correct them.
Be kind to leave your comments and questions here or mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I remain yours without dross!
Twitter handle: @danieljimi
P.S: I'd like to thank my friend and brother, Tunji Opayele, for encouraging me to blog. April 19, 2014 was the day I created this blog and was the last time I posted a blog. But TeeJay has woken up that giant. I am grateful to him.