In his book “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Heaven But Never Dreamed Of Asking!”, Peter Kreeft gives what he calls an irrefutable argument for joy. As I look at it, I cannot seem to find any way to refute it and I will confess, I did feel joy the first time that I read it.
The first argument is that God only wills that which corresponds to his nature. God’s nature is joy. Therefore, God wills joy. The second argument is that Love wills the joy of the beloved. You are God’s beloved. Therefore, God wills your joy. If these are valid, then you should have joy.
So why don’t we have joy?
I think the main reason is that we live in a society where we make our beliefs based more on feeling than on logic. We have equated joy with a feeling, but is it really so? I would even argue that there have been times in my life when I have known joy, but yet, there was sorrow at the same time and I could tell you precisely about those times.
Our feelings have a way of creating reality for us. They don’t change the external world of course, but they change the way we approach it. For instance, if I am climbing on a ladder at work, the ladder can be quite steady, but because of my fear of heights, I can get the feeling that the ladder will fall. Lo and behold, I keep coming up with evidences that it will. How many times has it? None. How many times has it come close? None.
This is often what I speak of as the tail wagging the dog. I have a case of OCD in many areas and I routinely find myself dealing with this. My mind can create a belief and it can quickly find evidence to show that that belief is true. Lo and behold, after some time, nothing changes, but I see that the belief was false. It only existed in my head.
In our society, it would do us a lot of good if we could control our emotions and sadly, the church hasn’t been much help. Especially when the church tells you to do as you “feel led” as if God is giving you divine guidance through feelings. Is it any wonder so many Christians are so confused on this area?
What do we do? Simply realize the truth. We have joy. Let’s look at some things that we believe that should shatter our world if we consider them.
We believe a God who designed us all and created us.
We believe that he is Lord over all.
We believe that he loves us more than anything else in this universe.
We believe that the second person of the Trinity who is fully God took on flesh.
We believe he loved us enough to die a hideous death on a cross for our sins.
We believe that on the third day, he rose from the dead so we could live forever.
We believe he’s preparing a Heaven for us.
If only we could grasp these! If only we could realize that at every moment of the day, the love of the Trinity is all around us. If we believe that God is omnipresent and that God is love, then we have to agree that love is all around us. Even if we don’t feel it, God loves us immensely no matter what!
Think about that, and get some joy.