Untarnished joy

Most of us want discordant relationships normalized, sad memories replaced by happier thoughts, and pain and grief healed. In seeking healing it's vitally important that we not allow ourselves to drag along joylessly through each day, waiting for a change of circumstances to bring us happiness. It is possible to attain and maintain a feeling of joy in spite of unhappy events by understanding the source of true joy to be God.

In the Bible we're told, ''God is love.'' n1 He is our divine Parent, omnipresent and infinite. He loves each one of us and imparts joy to us. Joy is an attribute of God, and as such it is expressed by man. It's a quality that each of us, in his true, God-created being, includes.

n1 I John 4:8.

Even just before his betrayal and crucifixion Christ Jesus indicated the naturalness of joy. Referring to the importance of abiding by his teachings, he said to his disciples, ''These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.'' n2

n2 John 15:11.

We'll find it easier to rejoice as we understand that God is the author of good alone. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes, ''Let us remember that God - good - is omnipotent; therefore evil is impotent.'' Further along she continues, ''God is All, and in all: that finishes the question of a good and a bad side to existence.'' n3

n3 Christian Healing, p. 10.

We can acknowledge with gratitude that because our Father-Mother is supreme Love, nothing is truly present to take away our God-given harmony and joy. Evil is not created by God, and despite appearances to the contrary, it has no actual life, intelligence, or power with which to plague us. In absolute truth, nothing can ever separate us from Love's presence, from the permanency of good. Through prayerful acceptance of these spiritual facts, we begin to awake to the reality of good, and our joy becomes more natural and stable.

I proved this in my own life at a time of estrangement within our family circle. At first I seemed unable to rouse myself out of despondency and shock, for in addition, my mother had passed on during this period. However, I had experienced healing through prayer in the past and knew that with God's help I could break out of this joyless mental state.

Since I wasn't interested in just a ''grin and bear it'' stance, I turned to the Bible. Here I found many references to joy. For example, Jeremiah, speaking of the Israelites, represents God as saying, ''I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow.'' n4 I fully expected this promise to be fulfilled for me.

n4 Jeremiah 31:13.

The greatest challenge was letting go of dark memories. When I was barely awake in the morning I'd find myself mentally rehearsing the hurts and recriminations resulting from the estrangement. One day, after weeks of this mental turmoil, I realized I did not have to be the victim of any aggressive evil coming to my thought for acceptance. I understood that not only is God divine Love, He is also the one infinite Mind, the source of all true thought and consciousness. I saw that as divine Mind's expression, as its spiritual idea , I could not be the hapless victim of unwanted, joyless thought. Each time self-pity, self-righteousness, or self-justification appeared, I stood firmly and with humility on my divine right to reject these specious mortal thoughts and to accept only Christlike thoughts from God.

One idea that came to light clearly was that I truly was and always had been immortal not mortal, spiritual not physical, satisfied not dissatisfied. This was the absolute and only reality of my being. I realized that the unhappy events were not supported by God, that He had never permitted them, and that therefore they weren't a genuine part of my history. The false evidence of inharmony could not affect me nor cause me to react to it.

Very soon, and quite suddenly, I felt a deep sense of comfort and a glowing inner joy that have remained with me to this day, enabling me to move forward with vitality and peace.

As the beloved of divine Love, we possess joy and goodness as part of our rich heritage. God pours out the warmth of love and joy continuously. Why not receive and live it with gratitude today? DAILY BIBLE VERSE Let the heart of the rejoice that seek the Lord. Psalms 105:3 4 Jeremiah 31:13.

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