Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Long Lasting Joy

I have been contemplating a lot lately why the teenage generation is never happy. It seems that no iPod, television show, or clothing item is ever good enough, so they keep buying more and more stuff. It also seems like a typical teen’s time is often spent playing video games, reading the latest books, and watching television. So why is my generation so unhappy? We have all the modern conveniences, but still are not satisfied!

Then I realized that it is because the things they are filling their lives with only make them happy for a short time. Material possessions and wasted time are not going to fill the hole that eats them up inside. I don’t know why they think buying more stuff is going to make them feel better about themselves, but I know that it will only last a short time.

I also realized that happiness is only temporary. However, God’s joy is eternal. I have blogged before about my cousin Esther, and how much joy she brings to my aunt and uncle. The joy Esther has is because she now has parents who love her and are bringing her up in God’s light. This is the kind of joy that will last forever, because it is of God.

I know from personal experience that the afterglow of a good book, movie, or conversation only lasts for a little while before it fades into the forgotten. I wish I could capture my favorite moments in time and bottle them up to save forever, but the only way to do that is to allow God’s joy to penetrate everything.

One of the most joyful people I have ever met obviously has let the joy of God fill her life. Her husband died almost a year ago of ALS, and she has six children to take care of all by herself. I have never heard her complain, however, even though her life has been made immeasurably hard. She lets the joy of heaven seep into every crack of her life, and chooses to see the positive side of things rather than the depressing aspects that life has thrown at her.

It is very hard for me to choose to be positive all the time because I am not an overly cheerful person. I’m not saying I’m negative or cranky (well, sometimes), but I am definitely not a perpetually smiling person. This is definitely something I need to work on. I don’t really know how to be joyful all the time, but I am learning.

The Bible has lots to say on joyfulness, but one of my favorites is Psalm 5:11: But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them; that those who love your name may rejoice in you.” Because I love Jesus and am saved by His death on the cross, I have joy inside me. I don’t have to ever be sad or worried, because His joy overshadows my life.

I know how hard it is to stay positive all the time, but that is definitely something my generation needs to work on. There is a hole inside each of us that begs to be filled with something. You may choose to fill it with electronics or clothes, but Jesus is the only thing that will fulfill you completely. Choose to be content with what you have so that you may radiate the joy of Christ in everything you do. Although happiness lasts only moments, God’s joy will last forever.

1 comment:

  1. Way to go, Molly! You definitely "get it."

    Love you,