Peppered throughout my site and blogs I talk about joy. Joy totally captivates me. It is the foundation of my practice and my reward. I just can't seem to get enough of it! Definitions of joy vary but generally agree that joy is the root of happiness and well being. But the most thought-provoking definition came to me years ago while scouring over the 200+ Bible reference book library of a friend. I have not found that definition since.
I was looking up the definition of joy in the context of Hebrews 12: 2
"...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set
before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the
right hand of the throne of God."
The chapter focuses on the theme of discipline and the unshakeable kingdom of God. And the word "joy" is about calm delight and grace. But my long ago found definition of joy defined it as the understanding of the ultimate triumph of life. This one idea has led me through all kinds of challenges. It deserves its own headline.
Joy = the understanding of the ultimate triumph of life
This answered so many questions!
How could Jesus go through the betrayal, the crucifixion, the discouragement? Because he understood the ultimate triumph of life.
What vision sustained Mary Baker Eddy through her trials so that she could persist with the discovery and founding of Christian Science? She must have understood that Life, God always triumphs.
But joy is more than a coping mechanism that puts on a happy face and hopes that whatever challenges we face will blow over at some uncertain time. Joy is the very essence of light, which has an immediate effect on darkness. Joy is a powerful therapeutic force.
Sitting in my office, I considered the times I have been pulled up and out of questionable times. In each case, I saw that it was sometimes a glimpse, sometimes a full realization, that good will always have the last word. That lets us start out addressing a challenge as having already won.
Love never fails and Truth is always the victor.
So now, knowing that whatever race we are in, that we have already won, how do we deal with the day to day impact of these questionsable times? Know this:
Life triumphs. This lifts discouragement. God will always give an answer of peace.
Love wins. We can see that right now. In small gestures, in past kindnesses, in a receptive thought - we bring a magnifying glass to that seemingly small pinprick light of Truth and that light immediately replaces the darkness with what it true.
Truth reveals and heals. Light's immediacy is at work. We see more through God's eyes -- through Love's eyes. We feel the hope and the freedom that God is governing.
We keep walking in that direction and find that we trust God fully and understand the ultimate triumph of life. What joy!
Kim C Korinek, CSB
banner photo (c) Micah Korinek; other photos by Gabe Korinek, Kim Korinek, Brad Crooks. Leslie Larsen (c) 2016