The Difference Between Happiness And Joy

By Greg Holt

Sin promises joy, but it never delivers. Why? Because true joy is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ. You can be a lost person and be happy for a while. But what I’m talking about here is not happiness, because happiness depends upon what happens. Joy depends upon the Lord.

Philippians 4:4 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.” If you live for happiness, you are a prisoner of circumstances, because if the circumstances change, then you are not happy anymore.

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My joy grows with …

My joy grows with every soul that seeks the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Remember, you have one life. That’s all. You were made for God. Don’t waste it.

~  John Piper, “Don’t Waste Your Life”

If you lack joy . . .

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Ask Him for Joy

Mike Phay

Like a seismograph, my wife is intimately tuned to recognize any time the ground is moving in the lives and needs 0f our five children. She can sense a fever from a mile away and knows if her offspring need a Kleenex five minutes before a nose begins to run.

This has come not only because of the amazingly intuitive and attentive mother she is, but also because of the immense amount of time that she has invested in our children. She has been the primary resource to meet every one of their needs from their conception onward. As each of our five children developed in her womb, there was not a physical need her body didn’t anticipate or provide for them. As they have entered the world and have grown, she has been a constant presence and provider for them. When they have a need, she meets it. As a result, they go to her for almost everything.

It’s a bit humorous when I’m at home, because even when I’m close by and available to meet their needs, my kids don’t default to me as a major resource for their most basic needs. There are times when I will be in the room near my wife when one of my smaller children walks in and asks her a question like, “Does Daddy have to go to work today?” At that moment, Keri and I will exchange a bemused and knowing glance. Her eyes will momentarily return to the child’s, and with the power of a gravitational force (I’m convinced that mothers actually have tractor beams in their eyes) will guide a pair of five year-old eyes—simply with a nod—to my waiting and attentive face. She’ll gently say, “Your dad is right here. Ask him.”

The resulting transformation of a child’s face from query to comprehension (and on a good day, to delight) is miraculous. It’s as if a veil has been lifted and the child has noticed my presence in their world for the very first time. Their eyes widen, a smile broadens across their face, and oftentimes a hug ensues (these are the sweet times). The child’s attention is then diverted to me, and the questioner has been re-introduced to the appropriate party with a simple directive: “Your dad is right here for you. Ask him.”

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5 Ways To Revive Your Spiritual Passion

John Mason, in his book, Let Go of Whatever Makes You Stop, wrote, “The trouble with many educated (people) is that learning goes to their heads and not to their hearts. The heart is something of a prophet. The heart is no traitor. It is only with the heart that one can see correctly; what is required is invisible to the eye.

Mason’s words, unfortunately, speak to many Christians who have lost their passion for the Lord. Their Bible knowledge and learning, though it may be extensive, has only affected them intellectually, but not touched them emotionally. Or if it once did, that passion has subsided over the years.

“Find something that consumes you,” challenges Mason. “A belief is not just an idea a person possesses; it is an idea that possesses a person.”

Yesterday’s post addressed 5 passion killers. Today we want to share 5 ways to revive your spiritual passion.

#1 Receive Spiritual Renewal Through Worship

Worship impacts the spirit. The soul. The heart. The mind. The inner person.

Worship refreshes. Renews. Revives. Worship inspires. Awakens. Enlivens.

Worship invigorates. Worship even relaxes. Yes, worship has the power to recharge our run down spiritual batteries.

Can we say with David, “I was glad when they said to me let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1).

We can revive our passion when we allow worship to provide a force for living.

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3 Ways Cheerfulness Helps

“Cheerfulness is the friend and helper of all good graces. “

– James H. Aughey

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Real Joy Comes from God

Christianity is a religion of joy. Real joy comes from God, who has invaded us, conquered us, and liberated us from eternal death and sadness—who has given us hope and joy because He has poured out His love within our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He has given us (Rom. 5:5). Joy comes from God, not from within. When we look within, we just get sad. We have joy only when we look outside ourselves to Christ. Without Christ, joy is not only hard to find, it’s impossible to find. The world desperately seeks joy, but in all the wrong places. However, our joy comes because Christ sought us, found us, and keeps us. We cannot have joy apart from Christ, because it doesn’t exist. Joy is not something we can conjure up.

Joy isn’t the absence of sadness—it’s the presence of the Holy Spirit. And although the Holy Spirit produces joy within us, He often does so by humbling us so that we would take our eyes off ourselves and fix our eyes on Christ. Real joy exists even amid real sadness, and real joy doesn’t always mean there’s a smile on our faces. It sometimes means we are on our knees with tears of repentance. Charles Spurgeon admitted, “I do not know when I am more perfectly happy than when I am weeping for sin at the foot of the cross.” Joy comes in repentance and forgiveness and by daily looking to Christ and living for His glory, not by looking to self and living for our glory. But if we live each day bearing the shame of yesterday and the anxieties of tomorrow, we will never experience the joys of today. So let us always be quick to run to the cross to seek the joy that only Christ can give, for trying to find joy apart from Christ is like trying to find day without the sun.