“Christian Joy”, from L.Willows (a True Believer, Quotes on Joy, Jesus Christ)

Quotes on Christian Joy

I was delivered from the burden that had so heavily suppressed me. The spirit of mourning was taken from me, and I knew what it was to truly rejoice in God my Savior. –George Whitefield.

The very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting. –C.S. Lewis

It is His joy that remains in us that makes our joy full. –A. B. Simpson

Joy is Strength. –– Mother Teresa

Joy is the serious business of Heaven. –C.S. Lewis

 The mere fact itself that God’s will is irresistible and irreversible fills me with fear, but once I realize that God wills only that which is good, my heart is made to rejoice. –A.W. Pink

Those who know where the treasure lies joyfully abandon everything else to secure it. –D.A. Carson

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. — Augustine.

It is the consciousness of the threefold joy of the Lord, His joy in ransoming us, His joy in dwelling within us as our Saviour and Power for fruitbearing and His joy in possessing us, as His Bride and His delight; it is the consciousness of this joy which is our real strength. Our joy in Him may be a fluctuating thing: His joy in us knows no change. –-Hudson Taylor

The world looks for happiness through self-assertion. The Christian knows that joy is found in self-abandonment. ‘If a man will let himself be lost for My sake,’ Jesus said, ‘he will find his true self.’ –Elizabeth Elliot

In the long run, there can be no joy for anybody until there is joy finally for us all. –Frederick Buechner

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. –Charles Spurgeon

Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy. –Dietrich Bonhoeffer

If we are saved by grace alone, this salvation is a constant source of amazed delight. Nothing is mundane or matter-of-fact about our lives. It is a miracle we are Christians, and the Gospel, which creates bold humility, should give us a far deeper sense of humor and joy. We don’t take ourselves seriously, and we are full of hope for the world. –Tim Keller

We are to be re-made. All the rabbit in us is to disappear-and then, surprisingly, we shall find underneath it all a thing we have never yet imagined: a real Man, an ageless god, a son of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy. –C.S. Lewis

We need to discover all over again that worship is natural to the Christian, as it was to the godly Israelites who wrote the psalms, and that the habit of celebrating the greatness and graciousness of God yields an endless flow of thankfulness, joy, and zeal. –J. I. Packer

A Disciples Joy

These references on a Disciple’s Joy are from Bible.org. The link is at the bottom of the page for the entire article on Luke 10:17-24, it is greatly recommended.–LW

Joy is always the outcome of true salvation. Note some of these biblical examples of joy.

ABRAHAM’S JOY WAS IN THE COMING OF CHRIST

“Your father Abraham rejoiced at the thought of seeing my day; he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56).

DAVID’S JOY OF SALVATION

Restore to me the joy of your salvation (Psalm 51:12).

THE ETHIOPIAN EUNUCH EXPERIENCED JOY IN HIS SALVATION

When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord suddenly took Philip away, and the eunuch did not see him again, but went on his way rejoicing (Acts 8:39).

THE PHILIPPIAN JAILER’S JOY

The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them, and the whole family was filled with joy, because they had come to believe in God (Acts 16:34).

JOY IS TO CHARACTERIZE THE LIFE OF THE TRUE BELIEVER

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. a prayer of David (Psalm 16:11).

They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights (Psalm 36:8).

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God (Psalm 43:4).

GOD FINDS PLEASURE IN OUR SALVATION

As a young man marries a maiden, so will your sons marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you (Isa. 62:5).

But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more (Isa. 65:18-19).

I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul (Jer. 32:41).

“The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing” (Zeph. 3:17).

ALL HEAVEN REJOICES IN MAN’S SALVATION

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. “Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:7-10).

JOHN THE BAPTIST’S JOY WAS IN JESUS’ INTRODUCTION

The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete (John 3:29).

THE DISCIPLES’ JOY WAS JESUS’ DESIRE AND PRAYER

“I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).

I tell you the truth, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete” (John 16:20-24).

“I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them (John 17:13).

THE CHRISTIAN CAN EXPERIENCE JOY IN SUFFERING

The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name (Acts 5:41).

Through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope … Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation (Romans 5:2, 11).

These any many, many other passages in Scriptures tells me that joy is one of the principle motivations, not only for the Christian, but even for God Himself. God saved men for His own pleasure. Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before Him (Hebrews 12:2). The saints are sustained in their present affliction, knowing the joy that lies ahead, not to mention the joy of knowing and serving God, and even of suffering for His name’s sake. The book of Philippians was written during one of the worst periods of the apostle Paul’s life and yet the keynote which prevails throughout the book is joy.

My study of joy in our text and in the Bible has led me to this conclusion: OUR PROBLEM IS NOT THAT WE SEEK HAPPINESS OR PLEASURE IN LIFE, IT IS IN SEEKING PLEASURE IN ANYTHING BUT GOD HIMSELF.

I know that I have been guilty of saying to others, “It is wrong to seek to be happy. What we should seek rather is to be godly.” But this is not really consistent with what our Lord says in our text. It is not that we are wrong in seeking joy and pleasure; we are wrong in seeking pleasure in anything but God.

This leads me to another observation: WE HAVE OFTEN ERRED IN SEEKING TO MOTIVATE PEOPLE BY THE NEGATIVE MOTIVATIONS GUILT OR FEAR, RATHER THAN OF JOY.

The pursuit of joy in God and God alone could virtually revolutionize our lives. Think of some of the implications of this:

WORSHIP IS OUR JOY IN GOD OVERFLOWING IN PRAISE TO GOD. If we were to enjoy God more our worship would overflow in praise and adoration. The Psalms overflow with both joy in the Lord and the praise of God.

EVANGELISM IS OUR JOY IN GOD OVERFLOWING IN PRAISING GOD TO MEN. We talk about the things we enjoy. If our joy were in the Lord, we would talk about Him often, not because it was our duty so much as because God is our delight.

SERVICE IS OUR JOY IN GOD OVERFLOWING IN MINISTRY TO OTHERS. I believe that burnout is probably the result of a lack of joy in our service, as much or more than anything else. Service that is motivated by guilt or fear will not be a ministry of joy, and we will quickly burn out. Joy is the fuel of faithful service. Joy in the growth and progress of others in their enjoyment of God was a part of the fuel of Paul’s service:

“For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you? Indeed, you are our glory and joy” (1 Thes. 2:19).

ENDURING PERSECUTION AND SUFFERING IS THE RESULT OF SETTING THE JOY OF GOD AND OF HIS PROMISES ABOVE THE PRESENT PLEASURES OF SIN. When we choose to disobey God, as did Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, it is because we have doubted God’s promises, and disdained His pleasures. Instead, we disobey, seeking those pleasures which are both fleeting and fatal. Finding pleasure in God is an antidote, a deterrent to finding pleasure in sin. We read of Moses, who

“… chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward (Hebrews 11:25-26).

OUR STUDY OF, AND OUR OBEDIENCE TO GOD’S WORD IS MOTIVATED BY THE JOY IT GIVES TO GOD AND TO US. David found his deepest joy in God, and thus he also found great delight in the Law of God—the Law, mind you. That which we turn up our noses. The Law of God was David’s great desire because he knew that the Law revealed what was pleasing to God and what was not. Because David found his pleasure in God, he found pleasure in studying God’s Word and in obeying it.

“I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoiced in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word” (Psalm 119:14-16).

LONG-TERM DEPRESSION IS THE WILLFUL CHOICE NOT TO FIND PLEASURE IN ANYTHING, NOT EVEN IN GOD. Long-term depression, that which we choose to live with, is a choice to live in a way that is a perversion of God’s purpose. It is choosing pain over pleasure misery over His majesty, pity rather than praise.

LEGALISM IS PRIMARILY CONCERNED WITH NOT MAKING GOD MAD, WHILE GRACE IS LIVING IN A WAY THAT WILL BRING PLEASURE TO GOD. Legalism views God as angry, begrudging, and hostile. It lives in a way that will not “set God off.” Christian liberty views God as an intimate being, with whom we delight to commune, and who finds delight in our obedience. Christian liberty loves to please God. (I am inclined to think that the one thing which most irritated the scribes and Pharisees was the joy which Jesus found, especially in the salvation of sinners—cf. Luke 5:27-35.)

Source: Bible.org

“The Peace of God from The God of Peace”, from Precept Austin (Faith, Reconciled to God, Godly Joy)

The Peace of God, From The God of Peace”, from Precept Austin

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Peace is a condition of freedom from disturbance, whether outwardly, as of a nation from war or enemies or inwardly, as in the current context, within the soul.

The peace of God which replaces anxiety in the life of the prayerful believer is impossible to experience unless one already is at peace with God through faith in Christ. The peace of God is the ANTIDOTE for ANXIETY. 

The peace of God – This is not the absence of problems but a reflection of the presence of divine sufficiency in the midst of problems.

(Isa 26:4Php 4:13notePhp 4:19note)

George Morrison said “Peace is the possession of adequate resources” and those resources come from the Lord when you yield heart and mind to Him.

Every believer has come into an eternal peace with God for Paul writes that

having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Comment: See notes on Romans 5:1 for more discussion of the distinction between the peace of God and peace with God

However, not every believer necessarily experiences the peace of God which Paul describes in this passage. This peace is a promise which is the result of the practice of thankful prayer to God. As Vincent puts it “Peace (of God) is the fruit of believing prayer.” Stated another way, one may have peace with God without having the peace of God. Peace with God is dependent upon faith, and peace of God is dependent upon faithful prayer. Peace with God describes the state between God and the Christian, and the peace of God describes the condition within the Christian.

Barnhouse comments that the truth of Romans 5:1 means for believers that…

Peace with God was already theirs, as it is already the portion of all who are placed in Christ. But the peace of God comes afterwards to those who are willing to accept the paradox of unconditional surrender. How many unsaved people there are today who are in misery because they will not accept the peace (“peace with God”) that God made at the cross when He declared that the war was over and that sin was dealt with. And how many Christians are going to Heaven miserably because they are not willing to accept the riches of His grace and the wonders of His peace that He is so willing to give if we will only acknowledge Him as our Lord as well as our Saviour… Day by day, we are the objects of that love and grace, and, when we are surrendered to it, we shall be at peace.

Calvin writes that

It is on good ground that he calls it the peace of God, inasmuch as it does not depend on the present aspect of things, and does not bend itself to the various shiftings of the world, but is founded on the firm and immutable word of God.

Peace of God (God’s peace, the dispeller of anxiety and worry) is the peace which God alone possesses (He is often referred to as the “God of peace“) and which He gives to His children.

Peace in the present context is a state without anxiety and worry about how and when our needs (physical or emotional) will be supplied. This peace is the result of going to Him and confidently committing everything into His trustworthy hands.

Although the context is different, the principle in Isaiah is applicable that

“The steadfast of mind (the mind that has confidence in God shall not be agitated by the trials to which it shall be subject; by persecution, poverty, sickness, want, or bereavement) Thou will keep (guard, preserve) in perfect peace (Hebrew literally is ‘Peace, peace;’ repetition denoting emphasis = inward peace, outward peace, peace with God, peace of conscience, peace at all times, under all events), because he trusts in Thee.” (Isa 26:3)

Henry describes the peace of God as

the comfortable sense of our reconciliation to God and interest in his favour, and the hope of the heavenly blessedness, and enjoyment of God hereafter.

Before God saves us, we are ”at war” with the Almighty and our peace with Him is ”disturbed”. When we are justified by faith and reconciled to our Creator by the blood of Christ, we are made positionally at peace with God (see exposition of “peace with God” in Ro 5:1note) and are “set at one again” so to speak like Adam and Eve were in Eden before sin entered the world. Paul in this section is describing the “peace of God” which can be a believer’s experience (experiential peace) as he or she surrenders their will to His will, submits to His authority and walks in Spirit empowered obedience to His good and acceptable and perfect will. Specifically in the present context this peace is the Spirit borne fruit of thankful prayer. It’s logical isn’t it? If we can truly thank Him for every circumstance, good or bad, the result is His peace, the peace He gives.

Dwight Edwards on the peace of God – Of God” is probably a genitive of source. Thus God is the source of this peace, not the conditions around us. This peace is beyond our comprehension, for we cannot fully understand it; yet it is not beyond our experience, for we can fully experience it in the present. “Will guard” is graphic, denoting a garrison, or one standing sentry. The peace of God will watch over and warn us against any intruders. If the peace of God is not ruling or standing sentry over our inward man, then an unwanted intruder has already entered. Here we see a distinction between “heart” and “mind.” It would seem that they are referring to our emotional and intellectual facilities. Not only are we to be characterized by joy, we also are to be under the control of God’s supernatural peace.

Barnes on the peace of God – The peace which God gives. The peace here particularly referred to is that which is felt when we have no anxious care about the supply of our needs, and when we go confidently and commit everything into the hands of God. “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee;” Isa 26:3; see the notes at Joh 14:27.

Wiersbe – The peace of God” is one test of whether or not we are in the will of God. “Let the peace that Christ can give keep on acting as umpire in your hearts” (Col 3:15note, wms). If we are walking with the Lord (Ed: yielding to the Spirit), then the peace of God and the God of peace exercise their influence over our hearts. Whenever we disobey, we lose that peace and we know we have done something wrong. God’s peace is the “umpire” that calls us “out”! – Bible Exposition Commentary (BE Series)

The peace of God – That harmonizing of all passions and appetites which is produced by the Holy Spirit, and arises from a sense of pardon and the favor of God. (Adam Clarke)

Fierce passions discompose the mind,
As tempests vex the sea;
But calm content and peace we find,
When, Lord, we turn to Thee
.
– William Cowper

Eadie eloquently explains the experiential “peace of God” writing that…

The Greek Fathers, followed by Erasmus, Estius, Crocius, and Matthies, understand the phrase of reconciliation:— “Peace,” said Chrysostom, “that is, the reconciliation, the love of God”. No doubt this peace is the result of reconciliation or peace before God . But this peace flowing from pardon and acceptance was already possessed by them—they had been reconciled; and what the apostle refers to is a state of mind which has this reconciliation for its basis. The former peace has a special relation to God (Ed note: “peace with God”), the controversy between Him and the soul being terminated—the latter (Ed note: “peace of God”) is more personal and absolute. This peace is but another name for happiness, for it is beyond the reach of disturbance. Come what will, it cannot injure—come when it likes, it is welcome—and come as it may, it is blessing in disguise (Ed note: equates with supernatural “fruit” borne by the indwelling Spirit). It (Ed note: “It” refers to whatever circumstance or person might disturb one’s peace) can neither dissolve union to Christ, nor cloud the sense of God’s forgiving love, nor exclude the prospect of heavenly glory. It is not indigenous: it is the “peace of God.” Man may train himself to apathy, or nerve himself into hardihood—the one an effort to sink below nature, and the other to rise above it. But this divine gift (“fruit”)—the image of God’s own tranquility—is produced by close relationship to Himself, is the realization of that legacy which the Elder Brother (Jesus) has bequeathed.

Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27

To know that it is well with me now, and that it shall be so forever—to feel that God is my Guide and Protector, while His Son pleads for me and His Spirit dwells within me as His shrine—to feel that I am moving onward along a path divinely prescribed and guarded, to join the eternal banquet in the company of all I love and all I live for—the emotion produced by such strong conviction is peace, ay, the “peace of God.”

The secret of peace – He who climbs above the cares of the world and turns his face to his God, has found the sunny side of life. The world’s side of the hill is chill and freezing to a spiritual mind, but the Lord’s presence gives a warmth of joy which turns winter into summer. (C. H. Spurgeon.)

John Philips –  What can disturb God’s peace? Could some happening in a remote part of the galaxy disturb His peace? Of course not. He is omnipresent, always on the spot. Nothing can take place behind His back. He is right there, no matter where, all the time. Could some diabolical thought of Satan disturb God’s peace? Could some mystery, some obscure idea, some crafty twist of error, or some plot hatched in the demented soul of Lucifer to thwart God’s beneficent purposes and bring new forms of suffering into the universe disturb God’s peace? Of course not. God is omniscient. He knows all the wiles of the evil one and in His infallible wisdom has anticipated and annulled every one of them. Satan’s deep counsels are just so much gibberish to God, however clever and sophisticated they may seem to us. Can all the might of the gates of Hell (Matthew 16:18) disturb God’s peace? Of course not. He is omnipotent.

He can command galaxies and create atoms. He can toss stars into space and hold satellites whirling at inconceivable velocities on their orbits. There is no physical, moral, or spiritual power that He does not rule with consummate skill and tireless ease—not in Heaven or earth or Hell, not now or ever. Nothing can ruffle the peace of God. It is a calm beyond all storms, a rest beyond all strife, a haven beyond all tempestuous seas. The peace of God is majestic and sublime.

Did Soviet atheism and militarism disturb God’s peace? Was He intimidated by the size of the Russian army, by the success of Soviet propaganda, or by the worldwide presence of the KGB? Of course not. Long ago He wrote Russia’s doom into His Book. In Paul’s day, was God upset by Nero? When that evil man burned Rome, blamed the Christians, and began a persecution rarely surpassed in history, did he take God by surprise? Did God hastily cut short the day of grace and summon Michael to usher in Armageddon then and there?

No. His peace was undisturbed. All was foreknown. We do not know why God held back His hand then or why He holds it back now, but “we’ll understand it better by and by.” The unfathomable peace of the God who controls the universe and pursues a faultless purpose, is the peace that Paul commended to his Philippian friends. Their arguing should vanish in the infinite calm of God’s peace. (Exploring Philippians: An Expository Commentary)

Rod Mattoon – Peace possessed by one who has health, wealth, friends, and loved ones is understandable, but the peace of God in the midst of trials and tribulation is different. The peace of God that passeth understanding is peace so precious, that man’s mind, with his skill and knowledge, can never produce it. It can never be of man’s contriving. It is only of God’s giving. This world demands a price for peace but it cannot deliver the goods after the price has been paid. The price for the peace of God has been paid for us, for the Lord Jesus Christ made peace through the blood of His cross (Colossians 1:20). (Mattoon’s Treasures – Treasures from Philippians)

Pulpit Commentary – God’s Peace

I. What it is. God’s own peace; that which he himself possesses. It is the peace which our Lord had and which he promised to his disciples: “My peace I give unto you.” It is, therefore, no mere superficial freedom from external troubles, but a deep-seated harmony with God the Source of all peace. Thus it transcends human understanding and human expression.

II. What prevents our possessing it? Over-anxiety and worry. These are a kind of practical atheism, since they prevent us from leaving all things to Him Who is supreme over all circumstances.

III. How to obtain it. By prayer, which rests upon Him for all things; by supplication, which brings our own special causes for anxiety into His presence; by thanksgiving, which recognizes that His will must be full of blessing. By thus turning our cares into prayers we throw them upon him who gives us in return His peace.

IV. What it does for us. It keeps our hearts and minds, preserving them from undue anxiety, and making them realize the strength of the peace which Christ bestows. How do these words come home with sublime force at the end of our Communion Service! Having received him who is our Peace (Eph 2:14), we have entered into and taken possession of the peace of God which passeth all understanding.—V. W. H.

The peace of God is a sense of holy repose and complacency which floods the soul of the believer when he is leaning hard upon God. Frances Ridley Havergal conveyed this truth beautifully in the words of the hymn Like a River Glorious

Like a River Glorious
Stayed upon Jehovah,
Hearts are fully blessed;
Finding, as He promised,
Perfect peace and rest.

Source: Precept >Austin.org

“The Moment That God Made”, a poem by Linda Willows (Grace, Blessing, God’s Peace)

Stillness comes in the sweet summer’s green eve.
I sit in God’s vast and gaze. Oh heart, I believe.
All becomes wonder, a calm hushed serene,
cast in the joy of the surrender’s unseen.

Tendered sweet breezes lift and float by
tossing the meadows; the birds rise to fly.
A lullaby hums from clouds far, far above-
I feel we’ve been blessed in this hour with Graced love.

Green feathered leaves dance in the sun’s warm light,
rustling, whispering; they reach to delight!
How deep is my wonder of the moment God made-
undisturbed, unknown and from heaven portrayed.

© 2016 Linda Willows

Colossian’s 1:15-16 –He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

Numbers 6:24-26 –The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.