What No One is Saying About the Joy of Loving Jesus

What No One is Saying About the Joy of Loving Jesus

Pursue Jesus and love Him first. That’s been on my mind the past few weeks, as I run the concept over and over in my head, trying to more fully grasp what it means, what it looks like, why it’s important.

 

And finally, after struggling for so long to piece together my view of the world with my view of God, I came to a realization that left me breathless, head spinning, but for the first time in my life finally understanding.

 

Why can’t we can’t afford to put anyone other than Jesus as the first in our minds, as the reason we do everything we do? Because only He satisfies.

 

Only He can satisfy the longing for peace in my heart, only He can fulfill my ache for something more in this life. Only He can give me the joy, the hope, and love that my soul craves so desperately.

Continue reading “What No One is Saying About the Joy of Loving Jesus”

How to Satisfy the Human Desire for Love, Joy, and Fulfillment

how-to-satisfy-the-human-desire-for-love-joy-and-fulfillment

Humanness.

 

There’s something so interesting about being a human being, living in this seemingly endless series of experiences and emotions, events and times of extreme joy and extreme pain.

 

Life is so beautiful, and so fragile, and we can be so sensitive to all of it.

 

I know I am.

 

I’ve noticed this pattern in myself and those around me, of being caught in this awkward middle place of knowing that the Christian answer is that only Jesus can satisfy me – and yet still chasing after these things that I’m sure will bring me happiness.

 

Because deep down, we all have these intrinsic desires in our hearts. And they’re not wrong at all. Unlike Buddhism, which says “All life is suffering, and suffering comes from desire; therefore, rid yourself of desire,” I say, no, we should keep on desiring.

Continue reading “How to Satisfy the Human Desire for Love, Joy, and Fulfillment”

Why Joy Satisfies Me (More Than Anything Else)

Why Joy Satisfies Me (More Than Anything Else)

In my very first post, waaaayyyyy back on February 17, 2015, I talked about happiness vs. joy. I was a little baby blogling, testing out my writing voice in a little corner of the blogosphere, and didn’t quite know what I was doing. (It’s not my favorite post.) But I decided that the points in there were still important, regardless of the quality of writing.

I’ve been thinking about names recently. I’m Amanda Joy Beguerie. When I was six, I decided that I was going to change my name to Clara when I turned eighteen (and for the record, Clara just so happens to be the name of my book character twin). In addition, I always thought that Joy was a somewhat boring middle name, because it’s a word name (e.g. Grace, Faith, Patience, etc.).

Two nights ago, in Bible study, we talked about joy. We’re studying the book of Philippians, which is all about rejoicing.

I thought about my middle name and realized something.

My middle name is constant. I’m not Amanda [always changing emotion name], I’m Amanda Joy. Joy doesn’t leave, because joy is constant. I can’t get rid of my middle name, it’s just there. No matter how I feel, or what I do, it doesn’t change.

(This is how I think, okay?)

In Bible study, we talked about rejoicing in the Lord.

Because God doesn’t change, our joy needn’t change. Because things like grace and salvation do not change, we can rejoice in them.

Sure, I’m happy if I get a lot of likes and comments on a blog post. I’m happy if I buy something I really like. I’m happy to get my paycheck. I’m happy when people give me books and Amazon gift cards and clothes and free food. These things make me actually, legitimately happy. I won’t minimize that.

But those things aren’t constant things. They don’t last forever.

However, beautiful things like grace, and salvation, and God’s everlasting love are things that we can constantly rejoice in.

I’ve never struggled with depression, but I have been emotionally depressed from time to time. I think that most of us have, really. In those times, I cannot shake the feeling from myself because what happens is I forget my joy.

It’s easy to let myself become happy because of an earthly thing and then later, let myself be disappointed when that thing doesn’t last.

Joy is something that we will find in God alone. We will find joy in our salvation given us by the grace and love of God.

When we succumb to lies that tell us that our ‘joy’ should come from things, we deceive ourselves. This is where our joy should stem from.

Romans 5:8

“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

I know, I know. We’ve heard that verse a thousand times. BUT LISTEN TO WHAT IT IS SAYING.

When we had no hope, God provided us with hope. This hope is assurance that no matter what we have done or will ever do, God has forgiven us.

Philippians 4:4

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”

God has done what no one else could do, and He forgave us when we were unforgivable.

We are new in Christ, and our sin is not held against us.

Psalm 16:11

“You make known to me the path of life;

in your presence there is fullness of joy;

at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Joy isn’t a fleeting emotion. It’s a choice to live in gratitude to the one who saved our souls.

It’s a mindset that will give us constant satisfaction.

*aj

Approaching Gender Biblically – Conclusion

Approaching Gender Biblically - Conclusion

This is part 3 of 3 in my miniseries on the Christian view on gender roles, feminism, and things like that. Thanks for sticking with me!

See part 1 here.

See part 2 here.

On Tuesday, I promised to talk about what gender roles look like as a single, because my post was what gender roles should look like in marriage. And obviously I’m not married, as a lot of us here are not. As much as that’s sort of helpful for the future, I’d like to attempt at tackling the question: “What should I do now?”

That, my friend, is a tough question.

But I’ve been doing some research, talking to my parents and friends, and reading, reading, reading. And I think that I’ve come up with somewhat of a coherent post. Please forgive me if I step on any toes, that’s truly not my intention. As the tagline on my site says, “One Christian Teen Girl’s Contemplations,” that’s what these are.

In the first post of these three, I talked about feminism. More specifically, I should say, I’m talking about equality feminism. Feminism that says women and men should strive to have the exact same roles in every aspect of life.

However, as review, what I said in my post is this.

Men and women are absolutely equal. We have equal standing before God. We are all, every one of us, worth the same. We’re all sinners in need of a Savior, and we’re all created by God’s handiwork.

So when we Christians (as women especially) fight for sameness in the name of equality, we discredit God’s design.

There’s a verse in Galatians that many Christians use to support the whole feminism-sameness thing. They say, “It doesn’t matter what your gender is! Define yourself however you’d like!”

Galatians 3:28

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

Okay, that would be a fair argument if that’s what the verse were saying. However, if you read the chapter, you’ll notice that this isn’t talking about discrediting gender. It’s talking about us all being equal before God. We are all children of God because of what He’s done for us.

With that out of the way, I’d like to approach what the whole point of this post is supposed to be.

Living biblically as a single. (Or, as anyone, really.)

What does it look like?

Anyone remember Mary and Martha? In Luke 10:38-42, Jesus came into a village. Two sisters, Mary and Martha were in that village. While Martha’s busy, working really hard, Mary is getting to know Jesus and listening to Him. Jesus says to Martha, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” (v. 42)

See, we needn’t try to prove our worth. We don’t need to try to find our satisfaction in work, or equality (however we try to define that), or whatever. Jesus Christ is the only thing that will satisfy us. A personal relationship with Him – not work, not feminism, not even marriage – is what will fill that hole in our hearts.

When we look to be equal all around (meaning the same in every aspect), we aren’t truly satisfied in who God is and who He has made us to be. We don’t view Him as the ultimate authority in our lives. We want to dictate who we are, what our roles are, and what our gender is.

As Christians, we can’t do that.

C.S. Lewis said, “God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”

We must remember the basis for our identity. Who we are is found in Him alone. Our relationship with Him is what will satisfy us.

God has created us with equal value (Genesis 1:27). At the same time, in Genesis 2, we see that God creates woman from man. Naturally, that makes us different. There is a defining line between the genders.

We shouldn’t try to fight that line. God is the one that knows best.

So what do we need to do?

Accept our standing before God – that is where our identity is found.

 

Don’t try to prove ourselves. Among men and women, neither is ‘better’ than the other. We were made in the image of God. Our roles are truly enough.

 

Take a stand against the feminist movement that tells God that we know better.

 

And above all else, get to know God and find our ultimate satisfaction in Him. We honestly won’t find it anywhere else.

This post is in no way comprehensive. I hope you’ll look into this topic for yourself (as I will) to understand it even more. Thank you all for reading!

*aj