Thursday, June 12, 2008

Will this journey be joyful?

Some may wonder why I would choose a blog name such as Jean's Joyful Journey. How could a whole journey possibly be completely filled with joy, especially in a war-torn land such as Uganda? I would suggest that perhaps we have our definition of joy a little mixed up. When a typical American thinks of joy, they would assimilate it with happiness. While yes, they are very similar, there's a difference.

If one would go to the ever-popular Christian website and type in the word joy, 242 results pop up. How about the word happy? 21! Only 21 times is the word happy in the bible. And three of those times, the word joy was added in right near it to help describe the situation even more. One might wonder why the word joy was chosen over happy so many times!

My handy-dandy Webster's Pocket Dictionary defines happy as characterized by good fortune; prosperous. Having pleasure; gratified.
If you then look up joy in Webster, you would find delight; happiness; gladness. A source of pleasure.

Happiness is momentary, it depends on what is going on in that very instant. Happiness is a situation while joy is what causes the great happiness-and for me that is Christ.

I find my joy in the Lord. Will the Lord always be there? YES! So no matter where I am or what I am doing, I can find joy. Therefore I will choose to be joyful always.

A few months ago my mom found this quote and showed it to me. “If you are making something, you must call to mind the Creator of all things; if you see the light, remember the Giver of it. If you put on your clothes, recall whose gift they are and thank Him who provides for your life. In short, let every action be a cause for your remembering and praising God and lo! You will be praying without ceasing and therein your soul will always rejoice.” -St. Peter of Damascus

With this in mind, let's take a second look at my key verses, 1 Thes. 5:16-18. Notice in verse 17 how it says "pray continually." If Christ is our focus and we are continually with him, we will always be joyful, just as St. Peter said. Praying continually will make us ever look to Christ and be continually joyful.

My prayer would be that for all of us, we would continually look to our Lord and Savior for everything.

Will this journey be happy? No, not all the time. Will it be joyful? I would say yes.