There is a source of joy!
When we have Health (and we do not take it on granted!), we feel grateful, more peaceful and joyful; when we have peace in life, we are more joyful; when we are happy and relaxed, we have better health and so on. All are covered by the major wish of all: Love.
Joy and Happiness, they seem the same, but in my heart I understand that they are different. Let me explain: as I see it, Happiness is a changeable situation. One day I am happy, another one I am unhappy. I wake up in the morning and I feel low, unhappy; something is wrong. How does it happen? It might be a thought, it might be a disagreement with a friend, and it might even be my hormones. Another day I wake up and I am happy but during the day if I get stressed or I have a quarrel, I will eventually feel unhappy.
Joy is a permanent situation/state. Joy influences happiness but happiness cannot influence Joy. Joy exists in the centre of my being. There are people who are unhappy; they say < I am an unhappy person>, permanently! There is no Joy inside them, no matter what. They cannot feel the Joy, they are not satisfied; something is missing. As well, there are others who even in challenges and demanding moments, they see the opportunity to learn, to grow, to dare and achieve. Even if they lose their smile for a moment, the Joy from inside sustains them and refreshes them; gives the hope and vision; shows the possibilities and opportunities.
I wish to share few things that I have learnt in life, few things that I do try to practice – not always successfully – but I do try, the next time, to do better .
Talking about Happiness, I have come to realize that I will not be always happy. Nobody has promised me this. The Bible especially speaks about anxiety, worries, sadness, testing moments, even great disasters as the end of the world. The following verses just come in mind:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (*It is Jesus Christ who speaks)
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (*It is Jesus Christ who speaks)
There are many scriptures speaking about troubles but thank God that He provides and promises the solutions and ways out for His children. I have realized that the real way out is by following few steps:
- Accepting the facts. It means that I do not live in denial. Knowledge is power; therefore, by acknowledging what’s happening I have the opportunity to address the issue, otherwise I react just as the ostriches do and remain trapped where I am.
- I know that various feelings will overwhelm me, eventually. Depending of the issue I might feel upset, angry, sad, desperate, unloved, stupid, blah, blah. I embrace my feelings, I avoid to criticize them, I just recognise them and let them be. They disappear on their own time.
- The most important is to stand up and be pro-active. It means to start doing something about it, leave my worry and trouble by prayer to my Lord as He had asked us to, redirect my thoughts to hope and dreams, go out and get fresh air, talk to a person I trust. In time, the solution comes as my mind, soul and spirit relaxes, finds freedom.
- Last but not least, I always keep in mind the famous saying: <Between stimulus and respond, there is always a gap.> It is I to decide and choose how I will respond, how I will act and pursue my happiness. I have chosen that Jesus Christ is my Lord and my Saviour and through Him all is possible – John 14/6: Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life.
That’s how we come to Joy, as John 14/6 describes it. We comprehend that we cannot be happy all days. Can we, however, have Joy? I believe YES. I witness to this truth. Imagine Joy as a fireplace inside the core of our being, a fireplace where the fire is always lit, a place where we can go and take happiness back, a place that is the source of happiness. A river full of water at all times; when we feel unhappy, we can go there and drink some water, refresh ourselves.
It is to know that all will be ok. It is not a belief anymore but knowledge. It is that I know that I know and nobody can take it away.
It is written in Jeremiah 29/11:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
In Romans 14/17 we find the promise for peace and joy. We were created to be peaceful and joyful, this is the normal. The abnormal is to be unhappy.
For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,”
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
Probably, you are thinking, Dimitra, you describe an ideal situation>. Is it? Look around you and observe. How many people have reach to this point? You do not know? I learnt to educate myself; read others people stories, hear testimonies, but mostly to see the fruits in their lives. I promise you there are plenty joyful human beings and the fruits of their lives and testimonies are the evidences. It does not happen in an instant, it takes determination, practice, practice, practice. In time, we learn and adopt the habit to turn to the source of the river and drink as much water we need or to warm ourselves next to the fireplace. Amen!