“Whatever happens, dear brothers and sisters, may the Lord give you joy …” Philippians 3:1 (NLT)
Rick Warren's devotional on happiness recently reminded me of a time when I could see the difference between happiness and joy. They may seem similar but once you've experienced joy, you're not going back for mere happiness.
It was last year...when I was busy preparing for SPM that I know what pure joy really is. I attended the MSG meeting at CEFC and I learned that I can harvest spiritual gifts. We spoke in tongues throughout the program and really strengthened it. At the end of the first day, I really felt at the bottom of my very soul (not being dramatic) that I was truly and fully experiencing joy..it's not happiness, that's for sure. It's of a different kind of feeling from what I normally feel when I get a new book, or I get praised for my grades or even when I receive a gift. Because I know deep down inside, no matter how happy I am when I experience worldy things, it won't last. But godly things....last for eternity. I was glowing that day...it's like I viewed the world with a different set of eyes. I wanted to laugh, smile, cry tears of joy and tell the world of the good news because I think everyone deserves to experience this joy that I had.
Do you wake up everyday thinking, what's my goal today? What things can I look forward to today, to keep my life meaningful each day? I did...and I still do. It's hard not to think of worldly things, but we've got to try because at the end of the day, only godly things last through eternity. Sure, we graduate, get a good job, get married, achieve our greatest ambition...then what? Is it all there is to life? This routine...this repetition that makes you say deja vu over and over again, is not all life has got to offer, right? If it is, why are we working so hard for? It's not like we can bring all our wealth, our lovers to the afterlife. That's when God comes into the picture. He offers what we need, not what we want. Every single one of us has got a void in our soul that only He can fill. Humans have tried to fill that vacuum with lovers, money, prestige..anything you can think of. But it never works..cos only one key can open that door to a greater joy than we've ever experienced.
I just want to share with you guys what I had. This is not some godly talk...this is just my testimony of God's joy. It's hard to talk about God these days...people just shut you out or worse, call you names. I don't have a lot of close friends that know what I'm talking about. Sometimes, I want to share with them this joy but it's hard to walk to a bunch of friends with different beliefs. I think it's easier for them to accept me when I laugh at jokes than when I'm talking about God. I don't feel bad about it, because I was once like that. I shunned out anything that brings me out of my comfort zone. It's just easier that way. But honestly, you can't say no to God when you know of the truth.