Joyfulness vs Self-pity
This is WEEK 28 of the Character Development Series I am doing for 2012. So glad you stopped by!
Joy is the simplest form of gratitude. -Karl Barth
There are souls in this world which have the gift of finding joy everywhere and of leaving it behind them when they go. -Jean Paul
“Scatter joy!” -― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“There is no joy in the soul that has forgotten what God prizes.”-― Oswald Chambers
1. deep feeling or condition of happiness or contentment
2. an outward show of pleasure or delight
Synonyms for Joy: delight, elation, satisfaction, merriment, solace
Antonyms for Joy: sadness, sorrow, unhappiness, woe
What the Bible Says About Joy:
Psalm 118:24 – This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Proverbs 17:22 – A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.
Examples from the Bible:
1. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 1-3)
2. Daniel (Daniel 6)
3. Paul and Silas (Acts 16)
The Example of Jesus to Us:
Luke 2: 10Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. ( Jesus birth was God’s gift of joy to us)
John 14: 11“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. (Our joy is in relationship to his joy.)
John 16: 22Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
Heb. 12: 2looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Personal Thoughts and Application:
Notice, I didn’t pick a picture of a person exuding great enthusiasm and unconstrained excitement for my topic of joy vs self-pity. I chose an elderly lady appreciating the delight of simple things. Christian joy has Christ as it’s source. When our eyes do not focus on Christ, but rather turn inward to self, then self-pity steals our joy. Christ’s joy flows from being connected to Him, connected to our Creator, and being appreciative of what he has created. It’s the kind of joy that can take pleasure in a single flower. Christ’s joy flows from relationship with Him, having some one to love you , nurture you and communicate with you at a very deep and personable level. Even if alone or rejected by the world, it’s the kind of joy that is built on our identity as a Child of God. Christ’s joy flows from the promise of eternity. It is the kind of joy that can be content in ALL circumstances because the long term vision and hope is on eternal rewards and gain.
Build your relationship with God, remember your identity as His child, and keep your eyes on the hope of eternal blessings with Him….naturally, joy will flow. It may be the kind that makes you grin and leak large quantities of enthusiasm, or it may just be the quiet inner glow, the twinkle in the eye, of a calmer, more contained joy….but joy you shall have.
PRAYER FOR YOU: May you realize that the Christian walk is not meant to be sadness and misery, but a life lived in the joy of being His child. May you find joy in the ease of life. May you also find joy in the hardships and trials of life as you learn to find him as the source of your joy, and not your circumstances. May the world see the natural joy that flows from you as you become more and more Christlike.
Additional Reading: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/bible-verses-about-joy-20-uplifting-scripture-quotes/
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