How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose!… You drove them from me, You who are the true, the sovereign joy. You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure.
No one is really happy merely because he has what he wants, but only if he wants things he ought to want.
The Christian is a [person] of joy… A gloomy Christian is a contradiction of terms, and nothing in all religious history has done Christianity more harm than its connection with black clothes and long faces.
If Christians do not rejoice it is not because they are Christians, but because they are not Christian enough. Joy is the rational state of the Christian in view of his spiritual position in Christ.
An unthankful and complaining spirit is an abiding sin against God, and a cause of almost continual unhappiness; and yet how common such a spirit is. How prone we seem to be to forget the good that life knows, and remember and brood over its evil – to forget its joys, and think only of its sorrows – to forget thankfulness, and remember only to complain.
The religion that makes a man look sick certainly won’t cure the world!
As Christians, our lives should be marked by joy (Phil. 4:4), taste like joy (Gal 5:22), and be filled with the fullness of joy (John 15:11). Busyness attacks all of that. One study found that commuters experience greater levels of stress than fighter pilots and riot police. That’s what we are facing. When our lives are frantic and frenzied, we are prone to anxiety, resentment, impatience, and irritability.
God is particularly interested in our joy. He tells us, “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11). When the church gathers, the sense of confident joy in God should be pronounced. When we fail to demonstrate delight and satisfaction in God, we’re not only dishonoring God, we’re disobeying Him. More than anyone else on earth, Christians have a reason to celebrate.
A pivotal Christian thinker of our time once said, “Joy is the surest sign of the presence of God… The bottom line for you and me is simply this: grimness is not a Christian virtue. There are no sad saints. If God really is the center of one’s life and being, joy is inevitable. If we have no joy, we have missed the heart of the Good News and our bodies as much as our souls will suffer the consequences.”
You must be made miserable before you can know true Christian joy. Indeed the real trouble with the miserable Christian is that he has never been truly made miserable because of conviction of sin. He has by-passed the essential preliminary to joy, he has been assuming something that he has no right to assume.
A Christian should and must be a cheerful person. If he isn’t, the devil is tempting him.
The joyless Christian reveals himself by having negative thoughts and talk about others, in a lack of concern for others welfare, and a failure to intercede on others behalf. Joyless believers are self-centered, selfish, proud, and often vengeful and their self-centeredness inevitably manifests itself in prayerlessness.
The best Christian has not always a joyous day. Our sins make sorrows needful – our lack of watchfulness may bring disquietude and doubt, and, instead of “rejoicing in the Lord,” our hearts may be filled with despondency and gloom. Christian! if you have not this joy “abiding” in you now, you have cause for alarm; for, be assured, it is suspended, not from any lack of love on the part of your Savior, nor from any forgetfulness of you by the Holy Spirit, but, because you yourself have become less watchful, in guarding the citadel of the heart.
If Christians do not rejoice, it is not because they are Christians, but because they are not Christian enough. Joy is the rational state of the Christian in view of his spiritual position in Christ (Derek Prime and Alistair Begg).
If you take joy, as an essential element, out of faith, hope, or love, you do not have Christian faith, hope, or love. Faith is the satisfying embrace of the trusted and treasured Christ. Hope is the satisfying foretaste of the future reward. Love is the overflow of joy in God that seeks to meet the needs of others, especially the need of eternal joy.
Christian, it does not need to be this complicated! Do you really think the infinite lover of our soul has neither the desire nor power to keep you from despair? Didn’t He promise you His joy (Jn. 15:11)? Didn’t He promise you true life? So, not to minimize any of our trials, but when we despair, we can’t blame God. The trial is only made worse through our own choices and ignorance or unwillingness to do it God’s way and His ability to bring joy despite and through the trial (Jas. 1:2). We choose the bad attitude. We choose the unhealthy conversations. We choose to the bad theology. We chose to be ignorant of biblical teaching. We choose to exhibit unbelief in the promises of God.
When the heart is full of joy, it always allows its joy to escape. It is like the fountain in the marketplace; whenever it is full it runs away in streams, and so soon as it ceases to overflow, you may be quite sure that it has ceased to be full. The only full heart is the overflowing heart.
If you have no joy, there’s a leak in your Christianity somewhere.
God threatens terrible things, if we will not be happy [in Him] – [see Deut. 28:47-48]!
The glum, sour faces of many Christians. They rather give the impression that, instead of coming from the Father’s joyful banquet, they have just come from the Sheriff who has auctioned off their sins and now are sorry they can’t get them back again.