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Summary: here is true joy to those who serve god with their whole heart, but misery to those who serve Him half-heartily.

THE POSITION

*** There is true joy to those who serve god with their whole heart, but misery to those who serve Him half-heartily.

*** This is the only way to find fullness of joy-complete, unconditional surrender to God.

*** There is no very great measure of joy in a half-hearted Christian life.

*** Many so-called Christians have just “enough religion to make them miserable.”

*** They can no longer enjoy the world, and they have not entered into the joy of the Lord.

R. A. Torrey

*** Joy is not a requirement, it is a result of living for Jesus.

Happiness depends on what happens; joy does not.

OSWALD CHAMBERS (1874–1917)

Happiness is a feeling. Joy is an attitude. A posture. A position. A place.

TIM HANSEL

Happiness is caused by things that happen around me, and circumstances will mar it; but joy flows right on through trouble; joy flows on through the dark; joy flows in the night as well as in the day; joy flows all through persecution and opposition. It is an unceasing fountain bubbling up in the heart; a secret spring the world can’t see and doesn’t know anything about. The Lord gives his people perpetual joy when they walk in obedience to him.

DWIGHT LYMAN MOODY (1837–1899)

I cannot choose to be strong, but I can choose to be joyful. And when I am willing to do that, strength will follow.

TIM HANSEL

See: 1 Chronicles 29:17; Nehemiah 8:10; Psalms 16:11; Psalms 30:11; Psalms 100:1; Ezekiel 10:4; John 15:11; Galatians 5:22; Philemon 1:7; Jude 1:24-25

What Occupies Your Heart?

I squirmed a bit as I forced myself to listen to my friend cataloging her problems. After three hours, I interrupted her gently to ask, “If you were to draw a circle to represent your life, what would be in the center?

She thought a moment, then said, “My problems.” My friend spoke the truth.

A week later, I sat across the hospital bed on which lay my younger sister, Joye, who had just been diagnosed with acute leukemia. Gray and perspiring, with a swath of bandages encasing her throat from a biopsy, Joye talked to a student nurse who was interviewing terminally ill people to see if there was any way she could help them.

“Oh, Jan, I’m a bit fearful of the pain and process of dying—but I’m not afraid of death! It’ll just be a change of residence for me,” I heard my sister, her face radiant from within, say to this student nurse. And for forty-five minutes, Joye explained the good news of Jesus Christ to Jan.

Afterward, I thought, Both my friend and sister have serious problems. Yet one’s walking I despair, and the other in joy. What makes the difference?

Then I realized what it was. My friend’s heart was occupied with her problems; my sister’s heart was occupied with the Living God.

—Carole Mayhall, Today’s Christian Woman, Vol. 20, no. 2.

See: Psalms 16:11; Psalms 126:5; John 16:24; Romans 14:17.

The Source of Joy

Joy is not the same as pleasure or happiness. A wicked and evil man may have pleasure, while any ordinary mortal is capable of being happy. Pleasure generally comes from things, and always through the senses; happiness comes from humans through fellowship. Joy comes from loving God and neighbor. Pleasure is quick and violent, like a flash of lightning. Joy is steady and abiding, like a fixed star. Pleasure depends on external circumstances, such as money, food, travel, etc. Joy is independent of them, for it comes from a good conscience and love of God.

—Fulton J. Sheen, Fulton J. Sheen’s Guide to Contentment, from Christianity Today, “Reflections” (8/9/99).

See: Isaiah 55:12; John 16:12-31; 2 Corinthians 8:2

Convince Them with Joy

If we can convince people that we are onto something that’s full of joy, they’ll stampede one another to follow us.

—William Treadwell, Leadership, Vol. 1, no. 3.

See: Psalms 16:11; Isaiah 12:3; John 16:24; Romans 14:17.

Joy.

1. God gives. Eccl 2:26; Ps 4:7.

2. Christ appointed to give. Isa 61:3.

3. Is a fruit of the Spirit. Gal 5:22.

4. The gospel, good tidings of. Luke 2:10, 11.

5. God’s word affords. Neh 8:12; Jer 15:16.

6. The gospel to be received with. 1 Thes 1:6.

7. Promised to saints. Ps 132:16; Isa 35:10; 55:12; 56:7.

8. Prepared for saints. Ps 97:11.

9. Enjoined to saints. Ps 32:11; Phil 3:1.

10. Fulness of, in God’s presence. Ps 16:11.

11. Vanity of seeking, from earthly things. Eccl 2:10, 11; 11:8.

12. Experienced by

a. Believers. Luke 24:52; Acts 16:34.

b. Peace-makers. Pr 12:20.

c. The just. Pr 21:15.

d. The wise, and discreet. Pr 15:23.

e. Parents of good children. Pr 23:24.

13. Increased to the meek. Isa 29:19.

14. Of saints is

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