Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Joy Defined

In my attempt to have TRUE JOY amid all my circumstances...I did a bit of study on Joy.  I also went around my home taking pictures of things that please my eye and heart within my home and life today.  So without further ado...Joy Defined...
Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence that ultimately everything is going to be alright, and the determined choice to praise God in every situation.  ~Rick Warren
Joy is an abiding sense of happiness! Though there might be moments or seasons of sadness, even these are tempered with a confident expectation that the sun will soon return piercing the darkness caused by the passing clouds. Joyful people are typically happy. They smile and laugh a lot. Joy is the result of hope, faith, and love! Joyful people often smile and seem to breeze through difficult situations. They see problems as opportunities. The glass might be almost empty, but the joyful person will be thankful for the little they have, enjoy it thoroughly, and not fear it running out!
~ Sherman Nobles
“J” is for having Jesus first in your life. “O” is for placing Others second; and “Y” is for placing Yourself last. There is a lot of truth in this simple acronym. If we put Jesus first in our lives, joy is a natural byproduct which empowers us to really love others and love ourselves.
The joy and peace of believers arise chiefly from their hopes. What is laid out upon them is but little, compared with what is laid up for them; therefore the more hope they have, the more joy and peace they have . . . Christians should desire and labor after an abundance of hope. ~Matthew Henry
First, it is not an act of will-power, but a spontaneous, emotional response of the heart. Second, it is not superficial and flimsy, but deep and firm.  Third, Christian joy is not natural but spiritual.  Can God command us to rejoice if joy is not an act of will-power but a spontaneous emotional response of the heart and is not a product of natural resources but a fruit of the Holy Spirit? The answer that lies on the face of Scripture at many places is: Yes, he can, and he does.  ~John Piper... Excerpt from sermon "The Fruit of Hope: Joy"
1. In a world wracked with pain, violence, and heartache, a person who radiates joy is a rare commodity. Yet joy is to be the distinctive of every Christian, making him or her winsome to those seeking spiritual answers in an unbelieving world. The Puritan Thomas Watson wrote, "Spiritual joy is a sweet and delightful passion, arising from the apprehension and feeling of [God's goodness and favor], whereby the soul is supported under present troubles, and fenced against future fear" (A Body of Divinity [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1965], p. 267). Who does not desire such joy? Is your life characterized by a joy that makes unbelievers wonder what you have that they don't?

2. To have joy in the midst of trials requires a mind fixed on something trials cannot touch. Thomas Manton said, "If a man would lead a happy life, let him but seek a sure object for his trust, and he shall be safe: 'He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting the Lord' [Ps. 112:7]. He hath laid up his confidence in God, therefore his heart is kept in an equal poise" (cited in The Golden Treasury of Puritan Quotations, I.D.E. Thomas, ed. [Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1977], p. 160). What determines the joy in your life--your circumstances, which shift like desert sand, or the Lord Jesus Christ, the rock of salvation (cf. Matt. 24-27)?  

~John MacArthur

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