The Christian belief, among other benefits, brings joy to the life of the believer. This is the promise from Christ: “Joy I give unto you as the world cannot give.” Here Christ did not mean just a superficial sense of fun, laughing, and “good feeling”, but rather a deep spiritual joy that Christ promised that could be attained if we embrace the Christian way of life as he taught us.
This is the joy which comes from the total trust in Christ for the one who shall fulfill all his promises. It is the joy which comes from our daily meditation on the victory of Christ on his resurrection.
If we are not experiencing this “joy” as Christians, then we must be missing part of the Christian message and the Christian way of life as well.
The extent of spiritual joy that we sense as Christians should be an assessment, a measurement of the fullness and completeness of our belief.
Many prophets, who tried to imagine what life would be after the arrival of Christ the Messiah, saw us the people of the New Testament essentially as a happy people because we shall have known the Christ.
The prophets did not hide their joy in what was commonly known in biblical terms as the psalms of joy in Zion as they thought of what would be the inheritance of the few people in Israel; the remnant who shall stay faithful to Yahweh!
Yahweh himself shall stand as their king and protector. Under his leadership, the nation will never suffer social evil within nor fear any enemy without. Under this king, this victorious warrior, there can be no place for discouragement, worry, stress, restlessness, hatred, jealousy, corruption, murder, no place for any social evil nor psychological disorders in his people.
It will be all joy: This king will be like the bridegroom who gives new life to his bride by the very fervor of his love. Here we must keep in mind that for Israel Yahweh was always personal and close at hand, a God who steadfastly loves his unworthy and unfaithful bride.
The Church calls us today to meditate on the above words of such prophets as Zephaniah in order to realise that we too have reason to sing the “Psalms of joy in our region, in East Africa, in our country and in our homes.”
We are asked to stand up as Christians and be counted as the faithful remnants marked as God fearing people. In fact as Christians we are called to be an exemplary community, because of our baptism and our faith.
We must make a difference in our region, in our country, in our place of work, in our homes, always as Christians. What we became in baptism, is enough reason for our rejoicing, because of the reward which awaits us. Ours shall be the steadfast love of our God.
St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians, calls on Christians to rejoice in the Lord, to be free from anxiety and to live in a spirit of prayer and thanksgiving.
In fact Paul sounds as a psychiatrist calling on his patients to lead a positive life void of unnecessary worries. It should be noted however that he does not refer to the joy which may stem from anywhere else apart from the Lord.
He speaks of the joy in the Lord. It is therefore essential for us today, to heed the call of St Paul: If the joy based on faith and trust in the Lord is a reality in our lives, our heart and mind shall reflect it.
The peace of God which passes human understanding because it cannot be attained by human efforts shall transform us and give us the capacity to transform those with whom we rub shoulders in our every day life.
It is really a Christian quality that can prevail over our doubts in life, and over the question of our human weakness. But, we should do well to remember that the Christian conscience remains a great help through our human weakness.
That inner voice, calling us to do what is good and to avoid what is evil comes from the law inscribed in our heart by our creator. And our Christian’s dignity lies in observing this law with all cheerfulness.