Our treasure and our joy are very closely linked. The measure of our joy will be dependent on our treasure. If we can obtain it or if it is out of reach. If it is meaningful or if it is novel. If it is long lasting or if it is temporary. That is why sometimes our joy quickly turns to despair, sometimes it loses its shine as it don’t meet its expectations and sometimes it just fades away. In a world filled with pain and suffering, how does anyone stay joyful?
The key to staying joyful is not to look within yourself and manufacture these feelings. It is like trying to grab on to water with your hands. The more you look within for your joy the faster your joy will disappear. That is because joy is a response. Joy does not come from itself as though because you are joyful then you will be more joyful. If that were the case then no one would ever stop being joyful and it would be this incredible spiral of exceeding joy. But the other thing is that joy doesn’t come out of nothing. There is always an object or a focus of your joy – which is your treasure. The key to staying joyful is found in your treasure.
Jesus speaks of the Kingdom of Heaven as the treasure where incredible joy flows from.
The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field. (Matthew 13:44)
The Kingdom of Heaven brings about a joy that eclipses all other joys. For all the treasures we have accumulated over the years and found different joys in, the kingdom of heaven outweighs them all put together. This treasure is so great that even as difficult a process as selling everything you have - is done in joy. It seems so easy when we read it but it is actually incredibly difficult. To sell everything is to let go of everything. To put away all that you have once held dear. All the material things that have given meaning to life. All the moments and memories which have defined you and are so precious. To count them as worth less to the worth of the Kingdom of Heaven.
This is what Adam, Christina, Odelia, Omi, Simon and Vanessa were saying when they got baptised last week. They have found a treasure that is worth more than anything they could ever have and have sold everything to take hold of it. Baptism symbolises the new joy in a person’s life whereby they have died to their earthly joys and now live for heavenly joy.
But what’s so good about the Kingdom of Heaven?
Only that the King of Heaven is there and his Kingdom is glorious.
For the joy set before Jesus, he endured the cross so that we could be welcomed into His Kingdom by believing in Him.
Vanessa tells me that if for the joy set before Jesus he can endure the cross for His people, then what is it for her to endure travelling from Olympic Park to ESCCC to enjoy being with God’s people.
What do you treasure?
Boon Guo Quah