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Human Emotion #2 Joy

Wikipedia doesn’t have a definition for Joy. Joy points to Happiness. So okay I can handle that. The definition for Happiness from Wikipedia

Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy. A variety of philosophical, religious, psychological and biological approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.

Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion. Happiness in this older sense was used to translate the Greek Eudaimonia, and is still used in virtue ethics.
Why is it that so many people go throughout life without any joy?


From the Spiritual Practices website

Joy is an essential spiritual practice growing out of faith, grace, gratitude,
hope, and love. It is the pure and simple delight in being alive. Joy is our
elated response to feelings of happiness, experiences of pleasure, and awareness
of abundance. It is also the deep satisfaction we know when we are able to serve
others and be glad for their good fortune.

So how do you find Joy? That seems to be a basic question many people have today. Just turn on the news and you will find no joy, only sadness. Look at the economy and there is certainly no joy there. So I scoured the internet in search of Joy. And then I found it. Right there in front of me. 50 ways to find Joy.

Did you know that petting your dog or cat brings you joy? It does, number 4 on the list. Going to bed earlier, brings you joy. Then all of a sudden there it was. Number 11, Look to the heavens. Stare at the stars? Okay, I don’t get it. But, hey if that brings you joy. Did you know that climbing a tree will bring you joy. Nobody tell Robin, okay. Our insurance rates can’t handle it. How about a tea party, anyone? That’s number 17 by the way.

Take a detour, now that always brings joy. Number 25 buy bear gifts. Huh? Number 26, How about jumping up and down. I’m sure it doesn’t always bring joy when your children do that at Walmart. Number 33, get involved in politics. Right, that is always joyful. Number 37 may get you arrested, blast your stereo and sing as loud as you can. If that doesn’t work try cleaning your bathroom. Oh joy. Number 46, Do the Twist. “Oh let’s twist again like we did last summer, let’s humm, mumm, again like we did mumble mumble. I never said I could sing.” Can you say trip to the chiropractor?

Anyway I think you get the picture. These methods of finding joy seem so temporary, so short-term. Surely there must be something better, something more permanent

I think that the only place to look for joy is to look to God. Read the following verses to know where joy comes from.

John 15:11

I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be

John 16:24

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive,
and your joy will be complete.

Acts 13:52

And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.

How do we recieve joy?
Acts 16:34

The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,

1 Peter 1:8

Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,

Does joy exist only in the good times?
2 Corinthians 8:2

Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.

1 Thessalonians 1:6

You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.

James 1:2

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

Hebrews 12:2

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

That’s one of my favorite verses, by the way.

We should be joyful when we pray.
Colossians 1:10-12

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

When should we be joyful?
1 Thessalonians 5:16

Be joyful always;

We don’t need anyone’s list of 50 ways to find joy. We have joy in the person of Jesus Christ. If you are in him you can’t help but be joyful. Can you?

Comments on Facebook, please.

August 26, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

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