Joy

By Sue Pounds and Becky Perry

 

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 

because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

James 1:2-3

 

Woah, although a short verse in word count, this verse has a lot crammed into it.  Let’s unpack that for a moment. We (Sue & Becky) think there is a difference between happiness and JOY. Happiness is an emotion in which we experience feelings of intense pleasure or contentment, which depends on our circumstances.  Becky finds happiness in rainy days, Taco Bell and crafting. Sue finds happiness in friends, pimento cheese and when the Indians win a baseball game. JOY, however, is NOT dependent on circumstances. We feel JOY deep in our hearts when we are spiritually connected to God.  There are plenty of things in this world we can do to feel pleasure, but ultimately leave us feeling empty. Taco Bell is not open 24 hours, Pimento cheese eventually runs out and the Indians don’t win every game. But, even when (not if) all those fade away our connection with God will remain.

Paul tells us that if we walk in the ways of God then we will experience JOY and other benefits as well: love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5). We can experience JOY when, even in our suffering, we are acting towards someone else’ well-being.  JOY is available for us to experience even in the midst of suffering. Happiness cannot and typically does not survive in an environment of suffering, trails or tribulations. JOY, however not only survives but is often born in the environment of our sufferings.

Hebrews 12:2 reads: “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the JOY set before Him, endured the cross.”

Jesus experienced JOY even in the midst of betrayal, pain, separation from His Father, humiliation and even more dreadful situations.  How is that possible?

We believe that JOY is born and thrives in the face of trials and suffering.  Jesus’ journey towards the cross was the perfect environment for JOY to develop and increase.  The same is true for each of us. Happiness is conditional and can shift and disappear quickly.  JOY is found and experienced through our pain, suffering and trials.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 

because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.”

James 1:2-3

 

DiscussioN:

 1. Share with each other some of the little things in life that bring you happiness.

2. How would you explain or articulate the difference between happiness and Joy.

3. What have you experienced or gone through that has allowed Joy to be born and grown in your life?

Prayer Point:

Take some time and pray for your partner.  Ask God to help them experience true Joy in the midst of their trials, sufferings and pain.  

Monthly Challenge: Go have fun

Grab a coffee, catch a movie, go shopping, take a walk. It doesn’t matter what you do with your partner, just make sure that you have fun doing it!

 Send a selfie to titus2ministries@troychristianchurch.org and let us know that you completed this months challenge and you will be entered in a drawing to win an awesome prize!

Questions? Please contact us at: titus2ministries@troychristianchurch.org