What Is Joy?
But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace . . .
Men have pursued joy in every avenue imaginable. Some have successfully found it while others have not. Perhaps it would be easier to describe where joy cannot be found:
Not in unbelief -- Voltaire was an infidel of the most pronounced type.
He wrote: "I wish I had never been born."
Not in pleasure -- Lord Byron lived a life of pleasure if anyone did.
He wrote: "The worm, the canker, and grief are mine alone."
Not in money -- Jay Gould was one of the wealthiest men of his time.
When dying, he said: "I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth."
Not in position and fame -- Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both.
He wrote: "Youth is a mistake; manhood a struggle; old age a regret."
Not in military glory -- Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent before he said, "There are no more worlds to conquer."
Where then is real joy found?
The answer is simple. Joy is found in Jesus Christ of Nazareth alone.
As a third-century man was anticipating death, he penned these last words to a friend: "It's a bad world, an incredibly bad world. But I have discovered in the midst of it a quiet and holy people who have learned a great secret. They have found a joy which is a thousand times better than any pleasure of our sinful life. They are despised and persecuted, but they care not. They are masters of their souls. They have overcome the world. These people are Christians
-- and I am one of them."
Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). It is one of God's attributes. Humanly speaking, it is that which encompasses and transcends both happiness and sadness. Once endowed with joy, a person is not likely to lose it and, in fact, it grows with awareness of it. Joy is like the sun, always shining even when night falls or clouds cover it. Happiness is like the moon, waxing and waning. Happiness is born in the mind, joy in the heart. Happiness comes from humans, joy from God.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission
each year until our Lord returns,
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
Copyright (c) 2003, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at ccci.org. See campuscrusade.com for Bill Bright's own materials.