A little Piece of Joy — Morning Devotions - Hope 103.2

A little Piece of Joy — Morning Devotions

The Bible talks about joy as a fruit of the spirit. Your joy doesn't leave you when a negative event happens.

By Chris WittsWednesday 22 Mar 2023Morning Devotions with Chris WittsFaithReading Time: 1 minute

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John Dixon is an Australian Christian author with some very good books to his name, and one of them, I especially enjoyed, was called A Sneaking Suspicion

So, in A Sneaking Suspicion, he tells one day he and his wife were out walking at Circular Quay. Always an interesting, nice experience. Good view of Sydney Harbour. They were walking along, minding their own business, when a guy stopped them and out of the blue said, “Excuse me, you just walk through a smiling zone and you weren’t smiling. I’m going to have to fine you”. Most unusual statement.

He held up an ID card showing that he was collecting money for the city’s homeless kids. As it turned out, he was actually from the Hare Krishna. A few months later, John was walking again through Circular Quay and a young woman approached him with the same statement: “You just walked through a smiling zone and you weren’t smiling. I’m going to fine you.” Well, this time, John was better prepared and he replied, “Yes, but joy is much deeper than a smile on my face, don’t you think?” This interesting conversation with two members of the Hare Krishna sect made me think again about joy and how everyone that I know wants to be happy and have joy in their days.

Dictionary.com defines happiness as “the quality or state of being happy, good fortune, pleasure, contentment, joy”. And I think that’s a good definition. The operative word here is state – the state of being happy. I looked up the definition of “state” and found that “the condition of a person or a thing with respect to circumstances”. So, in other words, happiness is temporary or conditional. Joy, on the other hand, is defined as “the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying. Keen pleasure or relation”. If you’re a Christian, that something that is exceptionally good comes from the Lord.

The Bible talks about it as a fruit of the spirit. Your joy doesn’t leave you when a negative event happens like someone cutting you off in traffic or you’re having a bad day. In other words, it’s normal to experience finding joy in the ordinary everyday aspects of life. It doesn’t mean that life goes to plan all the time. No, there’ll be bumps and hurts along the way, But the joy that God gives you is yours forever. Regardless of what’s happening around you, joy is found in slowing down the pace of life, taking time out to discover what really matters the important stuff. A gentle breeze on a hot day. You’re listening to the birds sing. Well, that list can go on and on.

We become distracted. We lose our way. But remember, it’s about how to find joy in the journey, not just getting to the destination. We often overlook what it means to have true joy in our lives. It’s easy to confuse happiness with joy. And then, in hard times when we feel unhappy, we think that joy has gone to. Knowing Jesus Christ gives us that joy that we think is missing. Joy comes from the depth of knowing how much God loves us and truly understanding what it means to have eternal life in him. Happiness is the feeling that you get when things are going well, based on your circumstances. But joy, on the other hand, is a deep sense of pleasure, delight, gladness and wellbeing that’s independent of such circumstances.

I’m saying then the true joy can be found in Jesus, not pleasure or fame. Voltaire, the atheist, said before his death: “I wish I’d never been born”. How different to a man named Joe Scriven. Joe came from Ireland to be a missionary to the Iroquois Indians more than 100 years ago. He left his fiancée in Ireland, and when she finally sailed across the ocean to meet him, she was killed in a tragic accident. So, he was a man who loved God, who had to bury his fiancée with his own hands. A year later, he wrote home to his mother with these words that we still love to sing in the church: “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be
discouraged, take it to the Lord in prayer” and that’s exactly what we must learn to do when facing hurt or hardship or tragedy. Heavily. Father, we get confused between happiness and joy. We know that the circumstances of life often don’t lead to joy. But you’re abundant. Supernatural joy is theirs as it comes to us as we love and serve you. And I’m grateful for that. In Jesus name, Amen.

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