Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Spirit - Lasting Joy

Beads of Joy 04-29-10

The Spirit - Lasting Joy
©2010 James Dacey, Jr. SFO

Life in The Spirit 4/5
Hello Everyone,

This has been such an exciting week. Today I get to share even more about the Joy I always share with everybody. God gives each of us the same Joy I experience. His Joy is deep and lasting, it's only when we put Jesus first in our lives that we truly experience that Joy. But how can we gain this Joy? Remember yesterday I shared the fruits of the Spirit. Well one of those fruits is Joy. If we can find a way in our own lives with the help of the Holy Spirit to spread that Joy, share that Joy, and plant and grow that Joy on our farm; then we (meaning all of us) can also embrace that same overflowing, endlessly abundant Joy in our own lives. I am just wound up with so much Joy to be able to share this with all of you. Now let's try to see how we can develop and build substantial reasons for having such a Joyful life. There are several places in the bible that lead us to the conclusion that we should be excited and filled with Joy, learning all about what we are reading. Case and point, allow me to share a couple scriptures that will indeed fill your hearts with some seriously genuine Joy.

We'll begin with the general thought of what exactly it is that we are seeking out in scripture that will shine the light in our lives. How about knowing that Jesus looks at each of us individually and that He lets us know that our names are in the book of life. Read this and see how exciting this all really is, "He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels." Revelations 3:5, and then let us consider how our repentance brings so much Joy, "I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent." Luke 15:7. There is so much Joy in scripture, so many enlightening things Jesus shared with His disciples. I also want to reflect on the fact that we can also find Joy in suffering. If we live a life pleasing to God and we suffer and then we offer up that suffering, we have so much to be Joyful for. "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4.

Mother Teresa once said, "Joy is prayer, joy is strength, joy is love, joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls." Wow, talk about powerful words with so much insight. This life will offer you many ways to obtain pleasure and happiness, but know that they aren't necessarily Joy. True Joy only comes from God through the Holy Spirit, and that Joy is filled with thoughts and reflection on the life that is to come for us. A life that will for all eternity keep us in the presence of God and Jesus. Please allow this Joy to fill your heart, capture it inside your soul, and never ever let it go. "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Hebrews 12:2. I don't know how much you have taken notice of my habits and my ways of sharing Jesus. I tend to use so much scripture, and words spoken by saints and the Catechism. In my life that is one huge aspect that builds my Joy, and helps sustain the Joy that is in my life. Everyone might not be able to understand that, but I definitely do.

So many people in this life see pain and suffering as a bad thing. Now please note that I am not saying it is a good thing. But in the perspective of what it represents, it can shadow much Joy to those around that person suffering. "So then he told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go to him." John 11:14-15. Jesus teaches us that even in death, there is life and there is Joy. Nothing must separate us from Him, no pain, no suffering, nothing. Embrace all that keeps your eyes focused on Him. Not everyone we share with will agree with us, but that's ok. We are not here to please man, but rather to please God. Let's look at some really insightful scripture, "Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God." Romans 8:8, "Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10, and here's a final thought that says it all, "And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God," Colassians 1:10

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr SFO