Sunday, March 09, 2008


Joy is not the absence of suffering, but the presence of God.

The experience of earthly love reveals itself through a feeling of inexpressible joy. How much greater, then is the joy that overwhelms us when we throw our whole selves into a loving relationship with God.

Man cannot live without joy; therefore when he is deprived of true spiritual joys it is necessary that he become addicted to carnal pleasures. AQUINAS

There is a joy which is not given to the ungodly, but to those who love Thee for Thine own sake, whose joy Thou Thyself art. And this is the happy life, to rejoice to Thee, of Thee, for Thee; this it is, and there is no other.... The Confessions [397] of Augustine (354-430)

The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world's joy-- Henry Ward Beecher

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield. -- Ps. 5:11-12.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.--Ps. 90:14

All who joy would win must share it,
Happiness was born a twin.
Lord Byron [George Noel Gordon] (1788-1824)

There is not one blade of grass, there is no colour in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice. John Calvin

Joy is not gush: joy is not jolliness. Joy is simply perfect acquiescence in God's will, because the soul delights itself in God himself... rejoice in the will of God, and in nothing else. Bow down your heads and your hearts before God, and let the will, the blessed will of God, be done.... Amy Carmichael (1867-1951)

Happy is the person who not only sings, but feels God's eye is on the sparrow, and knows He watches over me. To be simply ensconced in God is true joy. How small a portion of our life it is that we really enjoy! In youth we are looking forward to things that are to come; in old age we are looking backward to things that are gone past; in manhood, although we appear indeed to be more occupied in things that are present, yet even that is too often absorbed in vague determinations to be vastly happy on some future day when we have time. C. C. Colton

Joy, not grit, is the hallmark of holy obedience. We need to be light-hearted in what we do to avoid taking ourselves too seriously. It is a cheerful revolt against self and pride. Our work is jubilant, carefree, merry. Utter abandonment to God is done freely and with celebration. And so I urge you to enjoy this ministry of self-surrender. Don't push too hard. Hold this work lightly, joyfully. The saints throughout the ages have witnessed to this reality.... You know, of course, that they are not speaking of a silly, superficial, bubbly kind of joy like that flaunted in modern society. No, this is a deep, resonant joy that has been shaped and tempered by the fires of suffering and sorrow &endash; joy through the cross, joy because of the cross.
Richard Foster - Freedom of Simplicity

Know that joy is rarer, more difficult, and more beautiful than sadness. Once you make this all-important discovery, you must embrace joy as a moral obligation. Andre Gide, Fruits of the Earth

Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of men, but from doing something worthwhile.
Sir Wilfred Grenfell

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever remains to them? Rose Kennedy (1890-1995)In "Words of Women Quotations for Success," by Power Dynamics Publishing, 1997.

Joy is not a substitute for sex; sex is very often a substitute for Joy. I sometimes wonder whether all pleasures are not substitutes for Joy.
C. S. Lewis, _Surprised by Joy_ 1955

All joy (as distinct from mere pleasure, still more amusement) emphasises our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings. C. S. Lewis

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
C S Lewis Weight of Glory and Other Addresses pp. 1-2.

Joy is never in our power and pleasure often is. C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) Surprised by Joy

For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.-- Anne Morrow Lindbergh

God and eternal things are my only pleasure. HENRY MARTYN

Joy is increased by spreading it to others.--Robert Murray McCheyne in a letter: 27 June 1839

Do not look for rest in any pleasure, because you were not created for pleasure: you were created for Joy. And if you do not know the difference between pleasure and joy you have not yet begun to live.--- Thomas Merton

It was on the last night of His life, when His enemies were all around Him, that He spoke to His disciples of the joy that no man taketh away. Read again the story of His Passion: Jesus is seen throughout as calm, quiet, and confident. His last word is, ìFather, into Thy hands I commit my spirit.î Someone may say, 'Yes, but He knew that He was going to rise from the dead.' But have we not the same promise for ourselves? ... Stephen Neill (1900-1984), The Christian Character [1955]

The ordinary group of worshipping Christians, as the preacher sees them from the pulpit, does not look like a collection of very joyful people, in fact, they look on the whole rather sad, tired, depressed people. It is certain that such people will never win the world for Christ... It is no use trying to pretend: we may speak of joy and preach about it: but, unless we really have the joy of Christ in our hearts and manifest it, our words will carry no conviction to our hearers. ... Stephen Neill (1900-1984), The Christian Character [1955]

Joy is the flag you fly when the Prince of Peace is in residence within your heart. - Wilfred Peterson

This is the true joy in life--being used for a purpose recognised by yourself as a mighty one. George Bernard Shaw

Rejoicing is clearly a spiritual command. To ignore it, I need to remind you, is disobedience. Charles Swindoll

Always be joyful. That is the only truly saintly state.- Teresa of Avila

Till you can sing and rejoice and delight in God, as misers do in gold, and Kings in sceptres, you never enjoy the world.
Traherne, Centuries XXIX, quoted in The Practical Christianity of Malcolm Muggeridge, by David Porter

Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with.... Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), "Following the Equator", 1897 er

Be merry, really merry. The life of a true Christian should be a perpetual jubilee, a prelude to the festivals of eternity.
Theophane Venard

The religion of Christ is the religion of JOY. Christ came to take away our sins, to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prisonhouse, to cancel our debt; in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Is not this joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? There is every element of joy - deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy - in the gospel of Christ. The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man. The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought-of, untold, and endless blessedness. With such a God, such a Saviour, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man? Octavius Winslow, THE SYMPATHY OF CHRIST, p. 215f.

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