Joy in Suffering – podcast



What Was C.S. Lewis’ Definition of Joy?

The Greatest Joy

A Broadcast with R.C. Sproul

What brings you joy? From his series Joy, R.C. Sproul explains that our joy flows out of the assurance of our redemption in Christ.

The Greatest Joy – podcast – Sproul

What brings you joy? From his series Joy, R.C. Sproul explains that our joy flows out of the assurance of our redemption in Christ.


5 Onramps to Joyful Prayer

If you had to describe your prayer life in one word, what would you choose? Fulfilling? Effective? Joyful?

Or do words like irregular, inconsistent, or blah ring truer?

I’ve been there. And up until fairly recently, I haven’t been concerned, thinking it was normal, and thus OK. What I soon realized is that being content with a lackluster prayer life exposes an anemic view of God. It makes God seem optional instead of supreme and distant instead of approachable by faith in Christ. He is worthy of so much more than my excuses and laziness.

A more joyful prayer life may be closer than you realize, even if you have no idea how to get there. God wants us to enjoy Him in prayer, and sometimes all it takes is a small onramp of truth to take us to the highway of joyful prayer and deeper communion with God.

Onramp #1: Meditate on God as our Father.

In the opening words of the Lord’s Prayer, our Lord invites us to address our prayers to, “Our Father in heaven” (Matthew 6:9; emphasis added). Seeing God primarily as Father keeps us from seeing him as a harsh judge, an impersonal higher being, or a wish-granting magic genie.[1]

Our all-powerful and loving Father loves us as His children and seeks our best. He has the power and desire to guide our lives, answer our prayers, and work out His purposes in us. Our relational link with our Heavenly Father is unbreakable and His love for us unending.

Knowing implications of our sonship gives us confidence in prayer to our Father, “If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:31b–32).

When you struggle in prayer, take heart that Your Father knows. Take heart that even when you do not feel love toward God, you can draw near through the awareness of His love for you.[2] All it takes is the mention of the word ‘Father’ to enter into a world of delight.

The next is at:

The Joy of Christian Living

Erma Bombeck, the late American author, and humorist once related a scene she witnessed at church one Sunday. “I was intent on a small child who was turning around smiling at everyone. He wasn’t gurgling, spitting, humming, kicking, tearing the hymnals or rummaging through his mother’s handbag. He was just smiling.”

“Finally, his mother jerked him about and in a stage whisper that could be heard in a little theater off-Broadway said, “Stop that grinning! You’re in church!” With that, she gave him a belt on his hind side and as the tears rolled down his cheeks added, “That’s better,” and returned to her prayers.”

Sadly, some Christians are like this mother. I suppose someone may say that the worship service is no place to smile, it’s a serious, solemn time. However, why wouldn’t we smile when we come into the presence of the Almighty God?

Christianity is not a religion to be endured, but a relationship to be enjoyed.  William Barclay observed that “A gloomy Christian is a contradiction in terms.”

Read more:

Happiness Is a Current State of Being. Joy Is About the Future

The Bible Project creates animated videos that show the Bible as a unified story that leads to Jesus.  They also create videos that explain the meaning behind specific Bible words in order to give readers greater understanding into the writers’ intent.

In this video they look at the word “joy.

Today’s culture would interpret that word to mean “happiness.”  The Bible does, too, and also uses “joy” to describe beauty, goodness, friendship and a plentiful harvest.

While the words can be synonymous, there is a deeper theological and spiritual understanding behind “joy.”

Happiness typically refers to a current condition. Joy speaks of future destiny.

The producers of the video explain it this way:  “Christian joy describes faith and hope in the power of Jesus’ life and love” regardless of your present condition.

Can you be joyful in the midst of pain and suffering? The video points to biblical characters who were. The Israelites roamed the desert for 40 years but Psalm 105:43 tells us “The Lord caused his people to leave with joy, his chosen ones with shouts of joy.”

And Paul, while in prison and awaiting execution, spoke of “joy of faith” and “joy in the Lord” in his letter to the Philippians.

In fact, theologians argue it would have been sinful for Paul and the Israelites not to be joyful in those circumstances. R. C. Sproul in an article titled “The Key to the Christian’s Joy” wrote,