The New Coptic Year starts with joyful tunes till the feast of the Cross which made me wonder why?! What is the definition of Joy?! Who can have it? How to keep it?!
Sometimes life gets a little rough, and we all need joy in our lives. We often seek joy through various things; a new home/car, shopping, salary raise, vacation, friends and other external events that don’t last while true joy comes from inside and within ourselves. We usually talk about warnings that come from the Bible, how to live or not live our lives. However, sometimes we forget that the Bible tells us to enjoy life. God did not mean for us to be sad or serious all the time. Our Lord Jesus Christ promised saying in the Gospel of St. John 16:22 – “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”
Joy by definition is the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. What could be more joyful than having The God of all creation on our side, talking with Him anytime on a daily basis, reading His Bible love letters, living the Kingdom of Heaven from now through His Great Salvation, Walking with a clean heart / conscience through repentance and confession, abiding in Him through Communion and trusting His love and care?!
Those whose minds are shaped by selfless thoughts give joy when they speak or act. Joy follows them like a shadow that never leaves them
Here are some “happy” Bible verses to add some sunshine to what may be called a gloomy day:
Psalm 27:6 – “Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me; at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the LORD.”
Psalm 97:11-12 – “Light is shed upon the righteous and joy on the upright in heart. Rejoice in the LORD, you who are righteous, and praise his holy name.”
Proverbs 15:13 – “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”
Proverbs 15:23 – “A man finds joy in giving an appropriate reply – and how good is a timely word!”
Proverbs 17:22 – “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
Nehemiah 8:10 – “Nehemiah said, ‘Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.'”
Finally, I wish we all may have a positive attitude towards life, enjoy daily little surprises prepared by our loving God, seek joy and never allow anyone/anything take away your joy!
Fr. Daniel Bessada