“Joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, French Jesuit theologian
The dictionary defines joy as an intense happiness. We usually don’t ask people “Do you have joy?” – we would rather ask, “Are you happy?”
And when you think about it, joy isn’t experienced in just a moment. It’s a state of being. Many people answer the question by stating concerns or problems they have, rather than thinking about what makes them happy.
Most Reverend Patrick Zurek, Bishop of Amarillo, Texas, recently delivered a wonderful presentation called the Joy of the Discipleship at the Pilgrim Center of Hope’s Annual Prayer Brunch. Bishop Zurek said that when we encounter Christ Jesus and accept Him into our lives as our Lord, we experience joy and hope.
Ahh…did you catch the two words, encounter and accept? They are both important – to encounter is to meet and experience; while to accept is to acknowledge, to believe.
I remember a specific time in my life when I encountered Christ through prayer and I experienced healing of an incurable illness. When I realized it was indeed Christ who ‘touched’ my life, I accepted Him and everything about Him. That encounter gave me an incredible deep joy I had never experienced, and it hasn’t gone away!
Thanksgiving Day is soon here, a time when we celebrate with family and friends, enjoy a meal and, more importantly, thank God for each other! This can be a reason for our joy – taking time to see each other outside the usual busy schedules, recognize our blessings and raise our voice to God in prayer. God gave Himself to you. Give yourself to God and you will find true joy!
Today is a good time to ponder: what is the reason for your joy?
I want to share with you a great joy in my life – my wonderful husband, Tom. On November 25th, we will celebrate our 35 years of Marriage!