Finding Joy

From Rev. Solomon Keal, Informal Family Service and BACS Pastor
July 8, 2019

The theme for Laurel Camp this year is “Finding Joy.” The Lord wants all of us to get to experience joy, because that is who He is: “As God is love itself, He is also blessedness itself… and happiness itself.” (True Christianity 43.4) The Lord wants to share His joy with us forever, which is why His goal is for us to find heaven in this life and the next. Everything the Lord teaches us in His Word is designed to bring us towards the joy of heaven. “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11) However, joy is not something that we necessarily experience all the time. Life is full of challenges and struggles in which we often experience sadness, fear, anger, and pain. But the Lord promises that joy can be just around the corner, like the sun above the clouds: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) Sometimes we can end up looking for joy in the wrong places, and so the Lord teaches us that true joy comes into this world from the inner spiritual world: “The inmost recesses are where heavenly joy comes from.” (Secrets of Heaven 545) We can find joy in our loving connections with other people: “Feeling the joy of someone else as joy within ourselves–that is loving.” (Divine Love and Wisdom 47) We can find joy in useful activities: “‘What, then, is heavenly joy?’ The angel answered, briefly, ‘It is the pleasure of doing something that is of use to oneself and to others.’” (Conjugial Love 5.3) Personally I find a lot of joy in music, and in God’s creation: “For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” (Isaiah 55:12) We all find joy in different ways. And when we share our joys with others, we can grow closer to each other, and to the Lord, who is the source of all joy. “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11)

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