The Bible says, “This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118: 24. If we were to recognize on a daily basis, with each dawn, that this is the day that God made for our enjoyment, we would see the hand of God in everything. Every encounter we have with any of our fellow men must be seen as a divine encounter. Treating him or her with the respect and attention they deserve, because is a meeting that God initiated with a purpose in mind; one that can be beneficial for both of us. Perhaps he or she is bringing us a message from God, or perhaps God is going to speak to him or her through us. But rest assured that it is a meeting that was preplanned. The final purpose of each one of our daily experiences is to bring us joy. God speaks to us throughout the day in different ways. We need to see deep inside, and with a burning desire to hear His voice, in order to detect it, but it is there. Our life would be much easier and more bearable if we were to face every day eagerly searching for God, but we need to be firm in our purpose and wait patiently, without becoming discouraged as we wait.
We do not know the difference between pain and joy. When we are in pain, we are not used to seeking for joy in our suffering. If it is painful we believe we are being punished. It is not necessarily so. But if we see it as part of the day the Lord made for us, there would have to be something that would bring us joy. In order to learn to see it this way, we first need to accept that nothing happens by chance, and there are no coincidences. The Lord Jesus Christ, who is the Teacher that God gave us - if we accept Him as our Teacher, of course – will teach us the lessons we need to learn. Therefore, if there is anything that does not make sense, we should ask Him, “What is it you want me to learn from this?”, and He will help us. If we are aware that in every event there is a lesson to be learned -- even though is not always obvious is a lesson which will undoubtedly enrich our lives – we will make an effort to see what we need to learn, like a detective will do. We would be thankful for the encounter or the event and learn as much as possible from it.
Even though the event may take the form of adversity, we will search for the lesson because there is something positive in it. This is the way we learn to experience the love of God and His power in every situation, and how our trust in Him grows. We also learn to differentiate between pain and joy, because until now we don’t understand the difference. If it hurts us we believe it is pain, and if it makes us laugh, we believe is joy. There will be difficult lessons we also need to learn, but the wonder is that we are never alone. The Lord is with us. To be joyful does not mean that we must be laughing and celebrating all the time, but rather that we will have the peace of God and we will rest in Him, knowing that our life is in His hands.
One example of joy in the midst of adversity is when the disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ were being persecuted, tortured, imprisoned and chained. It is true that their bodies were hurt and in physical pain, but they were mentally prepared to stand up for their beliefs. The Lord Jesus Christ had warned them about these things and had told them that they should not fear those that could hurt their bodies. What was essential was that they should stand firm on what he had taught them. And they found joy in being able to carry the message to others as they were instructed, and even in prison they testified and praised God saying that God’s Word was not imprisoned. They were enjoying themselves wherever they were. Their joy was the result of having God's approval. That is true joy. Once we begin to see God in the different events that come our way, we will appreciate His love, and we will be glad to learn the lessons that are there for our growth. We are not victims. We are not alone. We are being guided.
We can see God in everything. We can hear Him in the silence, and see Him in nature, in the flowers, vegetation, the singing of the birds, the rain, in the smile of a child or an old person. God touches our lives in so many ways. God himself could take the form of a beggar asking for help, appealing to our compassion to teach us a lesson, or give us His blessing. Let us see every encounter with any of our fellow men like a messenger God sent to us and see every event and situation as something that God prepared specially for our enrichment. Let us enjoy His greatness reflected in the starry sky and say like the Psalmist, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?... O Lord, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!” Psalm 8: 3, 4, 9.
“We say ‘God is,’ and then we cease to speak, for in that knowledge words are meaningless. There are no lips to speak them, and no part of mind sufficiently distinct to feel that it is now aware of something not itself. It has united with its Source. And like its Source Itself, it merely is. We cannot speak nor write nor even think of this at all. It comes to every mind when total recognition that its will is God's has been completely given and received completely. It returns the mind into the endless present, where the past and future cannot be conceived. It lies beyond salvation; past all thought of time, forgiveness and the holy face of Christ.” ACIM L.169. 5-6.
This world, which until now we have seen as a place of fear and danger where we have to constantly protect ourselves, will become the world God made for us to enjoy His love and peace.
“Whoever believes in Me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” John 7:38