Saturday, May 30, 2015

Genuine Enjoyment!

For who can eat, or who else can have enjoyment, more than I? (Eccl. 2:25) 

When I was growing up, my family lived next door to a family that had many of the world's goods we didn't have, but they didn't have the joys Christ can bring---which we had in abundance. I remember one Christmas when we were singing together as a family. . . . 

Suddenly, my mom said, "We're making so much noise; we better close the windows or we'll disturb all the neighbors." So we closed the windows. 

Within minutes our phone rang. It was a girl who lived next door. She asked, "Why'd you close the windows?"

"Well, we didn't want to disturb you," was Mom's answer. The girl blurted out, "Disturb us? That's the most laughter we've heard the entire Christmas season! . . . That's beautiful music!" . . . 

If you really want to have fun---I mean the kind of fun that is really enjoyment (without a hangover)---then you need . . . a relationship with the living God. 

Living on the Ragged Edge 

What is it like to experience genuine enjoyment? Do we find genuine enjoyment in the people, places, and things of this world? Do we find genuine enjoyment when we spend time alone? In what exactly do we find genuine enjoyment?

As a little child growing up, I was often told that I found genuine enjoyment running around naked at home through crowds of people. Yes, I was that typical little child that had no inhibitions about what other people thought as I found enjoyment in running around naked. The image at the top of this post reminds me of that time in my childhood where I experienced genuine enjoyment. 

As the years went by, that sense of enjoyment has waned since I started to experience life in the "real world". That sense of enjoyment was clouded by a sense of dread, despair, and any number of other negative emotions that I experienced as I have gotten older. Those negative emotions have slowly, but surely fallen off as I began to learn more about Jesus, His Father, and the role of the Holy Spirit in my life. 

Even though it is possible to a certain extent to experience some measure of genuine enjoyment in the external, I have come to an even greater understanding that true, genuine enjoyment can only be experienced when God is at the extreme center of my life. Happiness is exclusively dependent on the external. Joy, especially genuine joy can only be experienced from within. The Source of that genuine enjoyment is God Himself. 

It is His joy that can fill the void in our hearts. It is His joy that allows us to gain the strength we need whenever we experience the storms of life. Storms are inevitable. They may come fast and furious, like a tornado. They can be long and drawn out like when a hurricane makes landfall. They may also come suddenly out of nowhere like a brief thunderstorm in the wonderful state of Florida. Regardless of the type of storm you find yourself in, always know that though the storm you go through may rob you of happiness, God's joy will radiate though you in ways that you may not be able to understand at first, but you will experience peace in ways that happiness alone cannot provide. 

My dear friends, the genuine enjoyment that comes from God is like a wind of fresh air. It refreshes our soul. Provides relief, even in the face of rejection and persecution among many other things that satan, this world, and even our flesh will conjure up. 

Are you ready to experience genuine enjoyment with child-like faith regardless of what anyone says or thinks about you? 

Thank you so much for reading this far my friends! May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!!. . . . :-).