Updated: Aug 5, 2022
From when I was a kid until my teenage years, I served in our church. Back in my hometown, I would do or be a part of the dancing ministry. And with this experience, I was able to meet new friends and people who were older than me. They taught me how to believe in myself and be able to do the things that I didn't know I could do. This made me happy and content with the talent that had been given to me. Of course, when I shared it at church, it felt more fulfilling because I was doing it for the Lord. I was passionate and so driven for the kind of service that I could do for the church. I found my place and the purpose of my life at such a young age.
In saying this, I would always listen to the preaching of the Pastors and at that time, I didn't know much about the Bible nor understand all that was being taught to us. But there was one preaching that really struck my heart, the difference between Joy and Happiness. Based on that preaching, Happiness is just a feeling or emotion. It is circumstantial, so it depends on what we are feeling at the moment. It is also temporary while Joy is something that's in your heart permanently. It is something you cannot explain. Deep inside, there is this feeling of unending gratitude that is beyond words and you can only achieve Joy when you accept and live for God. God alone can give you the joy which cannot be taken away from you.
At first, I hadn't recognised the value of knowing the Bible in an instant or even understanding what was said in the book because for me, I lacked the knowledge and the ability to comprehend the real meaning of some verses. I got nervous whenever it was my turn to lead the prayer because I felt intimidated. I went to church with my sister, so it was like my second home, just nearby our house. I thought of it as my responsibility to go there regularly. As a kid, I was just following what the elders were telling me to do. However, it helped me with my faith and to get used to church life. From being a habit, it became a real deal for me to take it seriously and I knew I would be learning a lot moving forward.
I have thought of talking about joy and happiness today because last Sunday, during the church service, the teaching was about the same topic. I feel like it's already deeply rooted in me to understand the difference between the two and I am very happy to be able to achieve the ‘Joy’ that I only used to hear about. It is quite different when it is in you. It transforms you as a person and as a Christian.
As a believer of my faith, I would like to have a deeper understanding of the Bible. My goal is to know more about the Bible, and to be able to apply it in my life, digging deeper into the core of it. It is such a relief to learn that even if we are sinners, God is there to forgive us from our sins. He accepts us for who we are, and we only need to surrender our lives to Him. I am very far from perfect, but I would like to try my best to be a true Christian as I walk by faith through Christ Jesus.
Nevertheless, I have always respected each and everyone's belief and I am not forcing anyone to believe the same way that I do. I am just sharing my story and how it all started. Many churches are there to welcome us in. We can have a look inside to listen and decide if we want to be part of their organisation. Most of their members are spending their time sharing to the communities, talking to people, and encouraging them.
In our journey, we can’t really make a shortcut or say, I don’t have to go through this difficult path anymore… But I think that the more you are challenged in your life, the more you will grow in your faith as you believe that God is there to sustain your strength and that He will never leave you nor forsake you. I know that God wants me to share my story to everyone as a form of inspiration and encouragement to those people who are getting tired of fighting the battles by themselves. And during those times when we feel weak, it helps to have someone hold our hands and say, you can do it! 🙂
On the flip side, I have friends that don't believe in Christianity or they don’t have any religion, but I respect them as much as they do respect me for my standpoint. It depends on which environment we actually grew up in and our cultural differences matter a lot as well. So I totally understand if there are people out there who are very much protective of their beliefs. In the end, as long as we live harmoniously in this world, I believe there will be peace and mutual respect for each other.
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