October 15, 2012

Are You A Happy Man?

"Joy is the serious business of heaven." - C.S. Lewis

Are you a happy man?

I'm not sure that I am.

Dictionary defines a state of happiness as a feeling of pleasure, contentment, or satisfaction toward something or someone. Biologically, it's really related to our brain and hormonal system. I might say that happiness is the serious business of serotonin (or dopamine, or adrenaline, in such term). And although it's a good thing to have a boost of serotonin-inducing activities every day of your life, hormone is still hormone. It lasts only in a short while.

When life gets boring and flat, or things start to feel empty, I practice healthy behaviours healthy people do to get down that happiness road of life. Sometimes when I feel down, I have so much fun reading manga or looking at bags or buying new things (that I don't exactly need), or go for some hair spa just to feel that excitement of spending money for myself and taking a good care of myself. It's good, it's okay, but it only works temporarily.

Thus, I won't say I'm really a happy person. How do you be a happy person anyway? By being happy 80% of the time? I think happiness is just a state - a fragmented phase of life measured in hours or days that can last only in a short period of time. And it's really volatile. If today you're happy, who knows what will happen tomorrow that will flip you mood.

Joy is the real deal. Dictionary says its a state of extreme happiness and pleasure. But here I'll coin it as a state of happiness in a longer period of time (months or years). And to take it further, joy is somewhat a state of happiness even during our dispirited or gloomy moments. If happiness is measured as the absence of sadness, normal people then won't be able to feel happy and sad at the same time. But joy? Joy can coexist with sadness.

It's when you're reminiscing about the past and be able to tell people, "Ah, it's the best years of my life" even when your family died in a plane crash." It's also something warm inside your heart that enable you to endure the rough times. You're sad, but you're also happy knowing that your sadness is nothing compare to the joy you have.

Psalms 47:1
Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

Psalms 96:11-13
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth...

Psalms 63:5-7
My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.

So in my Christian walk I've found that joy is found the most when there is hope. As a Christian, I'm able to be joyful because I have a hope of the coming Jesus and the new world He'll bring along with Him. He also gives me joy in trusting many of His wonderful promises for my future. He will heal all my brokenness, He will heal my family relationship, He will provide the best life partner, He will show the best career, He will give the best friends and church, He will protect me from evildoers, He will provide the best financial condition I can cope with, He will do everything for my sake and will give all the best things in life.

There is joy in the Lord.
There is love in His Spirit.
There is hope in the knowledge of Him.

Those promises turn to hope, and hope turns to joy. So if you ask if I'm a happy person or not, I'll most likely answer yes depending on my mood. But if you ask if I'm a joyous girl? Of course I am! I have a very happy God that I'm very happy to be with. And He gives me a special kind of joy, the everlasting one, that the world can never offer.

Are you a joyful man? :)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope (Romans 15:13).

God bless!