What does the Bible say?

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my last post I talked about what the buddha says about joy. In this one I want to talk about what the Bible says about joy. Listen to what the angel said to the shepherds;

Luke 2: 10Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people11For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

What I like about this verse is it doesn’t exclude anyone. Joy is promised to all the people of the earth in this announcement of the birth of Jesus. My belief is that this implies that ALL PEOPLE are deserving of “tidings of great joy” not just Christians. Joy is a human right, not just a Christian right.

For Christians, this joy can be motivation to have a strong desire to please the Father. In this desire for joy in the Father’s pleasure, we are supposed to discard our will for the Father’s will. This is actually similar to what the Buddha taught about letting go of resistance and accepting the way things are. We learn to determine the desires of our heart through the will of the Father. For Christians and non-Christians alike, this means there are times when we will experience humiliation and need and other times that we will experience prosperity and wealth. God is present in both extreems (can joy also be present in both extreems?)

Listen to what the Apostle Paul said about this;

Phil. 4:11 …for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Contentment certainly must be present in our lives if we are to live in joy. This contentment is not based in being content in our wealth or poverty.

Today’s assignment:

An antidote to unhappiness is being connected to something greater that yourself (whether this is Jesus, Buddha, the Universe, angels, whatever…) Think of, or better yet list HERE, 2 things you will do today to connect with something greater than yourself.

Possible examples: Volunteer, pray, take a walk in nature.

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