I’ve thought about the following often enough wherein I don’t feel I am winging it, or writing off the cuff. I’ve been privy to well to do miserable men who had no earthly reason to be miserable, having achieved all their hearts set out to achieve, and poorer than poor individuals whose joy was evident on their faces even though in the natural they had no reason for the joy they exhibited.
I’ve lived long enough and gone through enough in my life to realize that one’s possessions are not the source of one’s joy, nor does having the latest and greatest gadgets, toys, or garments give one continual happiness.
Granted, acquiring something you longed for or desired, does give one temporary joy. There is that temporary elation when one achieves a goal, when they hit the magic number on the scale after a long diet, or when they finally save enough to buy that item they’ve been saving towards. Everyone experiences temporary moments of joy and elation, but only the children of God can experience prolonged, ongoing, and continual joy.
The great and marked difference between the joy those of the world experience, and the children of God experience is that our joy is not dependent upon or tethered to acquisitions, possessions or achievements, but rather our joy is anchored in Christ in God.
Our joy comes not from amassing, hoarding, or profiting some thing or other, but from the knowledge of He who first loved us to the point of giving His life, and making a way for us to be reconciled unto the Father for all eternity.
I have often wondered why Jesus was so certain about the world hating those who would follow after Him, and why He was so adamant in warning us that the world would hate, despise, and overall desire to be rid of us if we named the name of Christ.
Couldn’t He at least be open to the possibility that those who would follow five, ten, twenty generations down the line might be a bit more diplomatic than those of His era? Couldn’t He at least be open to the possibility that men would grow progressively more open minded, all inclusive, and all embracing toward men and women of faith?
He could’ve, but that would just have been wishful thinking, and Jesus wasn’t one to hope for a different outcome than He knew with certainty through foreknowledge, of what the future held for His followers.
The words of Christ have been proven true, the world hates us with ever growing vitriol to boot, and for a wider variety of reasons than one might imagine.
Yes, I do believe there is more than one reason why the world hates us, and primarily it is because of Jesus, who He is, and what He stands for. They also hate us because we are a constant reminder to their sinful nature that God will judge all flesh in righteousness, and though they revel in their sin today, there will soon be a price to pay for said rebellion.
Controversial as the following might seem to some, I do believe the world also hates us for this ‘joy inexpressible’ that Peter speaks of in his first epistle.
The world does not, nor can it ever understand how we can have the joy we have even in the face of great and overwhelming distress and trials on our lives. The world will never understand how it is that we can lose everything, and still retain that blessed hope in Christ, and possess the joy only He can give as we journey through the valley.
To the world joy is a byproduct of either pleasure, acquisition, possession, or achievement, and even then, as I said, it is a temporary respite from the emptiness that gnaws and tears at their conscience. To see one who has neither acquired, nor achieved, anything worthy of inexpressible joy, yet still possessing inexpressible joy, is impossible to those who do not know the Christ.
If you have the joy inexpressible, then you know you have it, and you are blessed to have it given the times we are living in. You know the joy is not of your own making; you can’t fabricate it, think your way to it, visualize yourself experiencing it, or meditate on it until it becomes your reality. This joy inexpressible, like so many other wondrous things in our live is a gift of God to His children, and we are unspeakably blessed to have it, and know it.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.