The 3rd Week of the Mark of Christian Study is focused on JOY, one of the fruit of the Spirit.

There is a difference between eternal, biblical opponent and temporary, circumstantial joy.

Eternal, Biblical Joy is not temporary.  Fruit of the Spirit Joy is forever.

Eternal, Biblical Joy is not dependent on other people.  It depends on God's goodness.

Eternal, Biblical Joy is not earned.  It depends on God, not us.

Eternal, Biblical Joy comes from the Holy Spirit, who never changes and never leaves us unattended.

The Lord provides us with strength amid crisis through joy.

Difficulties between believers can be overcome because of the joy given by the Spirit.

Other benefits of Eternal, Biblical Joy include the following:

  • verification of belief
  • spiritual unity
  • growing relationships
  • encouragement for our godly leaders

God gives us joy in His presence
God's precepts provide joy to our hearts.
God is our strength, our shield, and our hearts' trust.

Our church motto: Joyfully Pursuing the Living God.

At Desiring God, Randy Alcorn writes, "We need to realize that historically there was no such distinction in the church and in the English language." Today, we often make this distinction.  This change may be because of today's emphasis on the right now. 

Here are some quotes and thoughts on Happiness by J.C. Ryle.  When you read how this 19th-century pastor writes about "happiness," you will understand he is talking about this Eternal Biblical Joy. 

"The grand test of a man's faith and religion is 'Does it make him happy?'"

"True happiness is not perfect freedom from sorrow and

"True happiness does not consist of laughter and smiles."

"To be truly happy a man must have sources of gladness which are not dependent on anything in this world."

"To be really happy a man must be able to look on every side without uncomfortable feelings."

"[A happy man] must be able to sit down and think calmly about past, present, and to come, and feel prepared."

Mistaken ways to be happy

·       Rank and greatness

·       Riches

·       Learning and science

·       Idleness

·       Pleasure seeking and amusement

Ways to be happy

  • be a real, thorough-going, true-hearted Christian, the Christian in heart and life.
  • have sources of happiness entirely independent of this world.

"Deep down in [the true Christian] 's heart, he has a mine of solid peace and substantial joy which is never exhausted."

"True Christians are not equally happy all the time."

"The way of happiness and the way of salvation are one and the same."

Let your aim be every year to be more holy – to know more, to feel more, to see more of the fullness of Christ.

  • Labor every year to grow in grace
  • Labor every year to be more thankful
  • Labor every year to do more good

For all the Marks of Christian posts, click HERE.

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