Monday, 15 April 2013

Joy

‘Surprised by joy’ is how C.S. Lewis described his conversion from atheism to faith in Jesus Christ.  He had never expected that there was any connection between God and joy.  If anything, he had thought it would be the opposite: ‘For all I knew, the total rejection of what I called Joy might be one of the demands, might be the very first demand.’

Convinced that it was true, he ‘admitted that God was God’.  At that moment he was ‘the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England’.  To his great surprise he found it was the very opposite to what he expected.  He experienced great joy through his new found faith in Jesus Christ.  He discovered that ‘the heart of reality’ is to be found in a Person.

Many people confuse pleasure, contentment and joy.  Pleasure can come from a good holiday, a pay rise or a box of chocolates.  People can become pleasure addicts – always seeking the next fix.  These experiences of pleasure come and go.

Contentment is longer term – being satisfied with your life, your home, your job, your friendships.

But there is another kind of happiness that we call joy.  It is not an emotion.  It is a way of being and a state of mind that is available to everybody.  It is not found in things but in a Person.

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