The Bible tells us we are promised joy as Christians. Here are just a few Bible verses that promise this joy.
Galations 5:22-26- “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we love by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.”
John 15: 11- These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you,, and that your joy may be full.
Acts 13: 52- And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 15: 13- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
James 1: 2- Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. Any let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
3 John 4- No greater joy can I have then this, to hear that my children follow the truth.
Philippians 4:7- And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and minds in Christ.
Read from Conversion Diary by Jennifer Fulwiler, an atheist to Catholic convert who blogs. In her post” Life doesn’t have to be easy to be joyful…” she compares her new life in Christ with her life as an atheist.
“But here, I believe, is the metric that really matters: Do I have more joy now than I did then? And that’s where the contrast is off the charts.
Joy is something different than happiness, and it’s a whole lot different than surface-level pleasure or physical comfort. It’s something divine in origin, not subject to the ups and downs of human emotions, a kind of ecstatic contentment and explosive peace that can only come from contact with the Source of all life and love himself. I may have more challenges now than I used to, but they also don’t bother me as much as they would have before. When I would be in a mildly bad mood in my old life, it was like my discontent would sink right down to my bones. There was nothing to pad my soul, so even the slightest bumps in the road would rattle me to the core of my being. Now it’s like my soul is bubble-wrapped with joy. Even on the worst day, there’s only so much that my worldly circumstances can get me down. Sure, I still notice and feel and dislike the bad emotions, but they no longer have the power over me that they once did, because underneath it all, where there was once nothingness, there is now joy.
It’s a beautiful thing. But here’s the catch: the more intimately we know Christ, the more joy we’ll have…but Christ is the very embodiment of self-sacrifice, of pouring out oneself for the sake of others. In other words, going to fancy meetings in skyscrapers and driving a nice car and hosting luxurious parties are probably not going to bring you a whole lot of joy. But living a life ordered toward the service of others will. So, even though I have a long way to go in the selflessness department, I make a whole lot more sacrifices for others now than I did before my conversion. And I’m not joyful in spite of that fact, but because of it.
The more I think about this, the more ready I feel to welcome those cameras tomorrow. I think I’m okay with my life being documented the way it really is. Because, if it all goes well, they’ll end up showing a hugely pregnant woman waddling around her not-super-clean house, sometimes getting frustrated with all the chaos, walking past old pictures of herself where she was obviously thinner and richer, and it will be the story of someone who has learned that life doesn’t have to be easy to be joyful.”
Now I have a question for you…why do you pursue your faith? Each of us will have his own answer.
Some may say so that they can live forever. Some want a beautiful mansion in heaven. Some want to be reunited with loved ones. Some are scared of hell.
For me, it is so I can be in the presence of the God who provides that joy and peace that surpasses all earthly understanding.
Many of us can’t sleep through the night anymore. Our minds keep clicking…
Many are sad and depressed and anxious for one reason or another…maybe this life has disappointed them, people have let them down, or they are chasing after things of this world that will not fulfill them.
I have come to realize that for me, heaven won’t be living forever, golden streets, beautiful mansions, or seeing loved ones again. It will be standing in the presence of the God who created love. Who is love. Who infuses us with His love when we love others.
I will run to my heavenly father like a child who knows that everything will be OK. I will rest in His loving arms and know that Abba, my Father, will make everything all right. He will tell me, “Hush, now, my little one, you can rest now. You’ve come home,” and He will soothe my tears.
So when I’m there and all my anxieties are gone, when there are no more worries, no more pain, no more sorrow, no more sadness…there will be peace and there will be joy.
And the promise of that heavenly joy, fills me with joy and hope for that heavenly peace while I’m on this earth even now. I wish for you this joy as well.