Joy in the Ruins (Finale)

Joy in the Ruins (Finale)
Having joy in the midst of pain is possible, but only because God makes it possible. The Bible actually commands us to rejoice. Take a look at when Nehemiah called God’s people to rejoice. The command was contrary to what the Israelites wanted to do in that moment. All they could do was grieve as they listened to the Law of God, only to realize how far they have fallen. The glory of Israel was now in ruins. They were humiliated before the eyes of the world. The future looked bleak. God felt far. But in that moment, Nehemiah told them not to mourn or to weep, rather, to enjoy a meal and be strengthened (Nehemiah 8:9-10). It must have thrown them in a whirl at first, but the Levites took a moment to calm the people down and reiterate Nehemiah’s message. In the end, the people obeyed.
Continue reading “Joy in the Ruins (Finale)”

Joy in the Ruins (Part 2: The Starting Point)

Joy in the Ruins (Part 2: The Starting Point)
These days there is a very popular children’s movie that is trending, and its theme is all about finding true happiness. Although the movie was rather entertaining, it was the ending that raised a flag in me. The moral of the story was that true happiness can be found within yourself. According to this movie, it is found deep inside you.
I don’t know about you, but if I were to introspect deep within myself, I would probably be more discouraged than encouraged. Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…” Take some time to gaze at yourself, and you will probably find more reasons to be critical and hopeless. You would find failures and weaknesses.  I can’t imagine that I am a reliable source of true happiness.

Continue reading “Joy in the Ruins (Part 2: The Starting Point)”

Joy in the Ruins (Part 1: Introduction)

Joy in the Ruins (Part 1: Introduction)
Part of living a life of joy is learning to embrace the imperfections.
It’s a rocky journey towards the land where your standards are met and things are closer to your ideals. While on that journey, it’s easy to feel that the possibility of joy is a long way away.
There are definitely times when I wish for a more favorable hand of cards in my life.
Sometimes, I strive for that “someday.” Someday, this will change. Someday, I will be able to do this and do that. Someday, I will have this. Someday. Someday.
It’s when I live for that “someday” that I find myself incapable of joy.
Instead, I live a shell of a life, where my days are sapped of hope and my lips are full of complaints.
Complaints are excuses for living a powerless and joyless life.
It’s tempting to hold onto them.
But, complaints and joy cannot coexist.

Continue reading “Joy in the Ruins (Part 1: Introduction)”