| Back to Home Page | Back to Book Index |

 

Joy

 

Happiness

There is a tendency throughout like to search for the easy answer to every problem. We all search for Easy Street. Well, I am told that it actually exists. Just travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, and take the Pali Highway northbound. Travel about a third of the way to the Pali Pass and turn right on Park Street. Go one block and there it is: “Easy Street.” The problem comes when you turn left and go one block more. There’s another sign that says “Dead End.”

Dead end-that’s what happens in like, too, whenever we think we’ve found the easy way. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Happiness

If  lasting happiness could be found in having material things and in being able to indulge ourselves in whatever we wanted, then most of us in America should be delirious with joy and happy beyond description. We should be producing books and poems that describe our state of unparalleled bliss. Our literature and art should rival that of the ancient Greeks and Romans and Renaissance craftsmen.

Instead we find those who have “things” trying to get more of them, for no apparent reason other than to have more. We find high rates of divorce, suicide, depression, child abuse, and other personal and social problems beyond description. We find housewives trading tranquilizer prescriptions. All this is surely proof that happiness is not found in the state of having all we want and being able to get more. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Sorrow

Dr. R.A. Torrey was one of the great Bible teachers of a past generation and founder of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA University). He and Mrs. Torrey went through a time of great heartache when their twelve-year-old daughter was accidentally killed. The funeral was held on a gloomy, miserable, rainy day. They stood around the grave and watched as the body of their little girl was put away. As they turned away, Mrs. Torrey said, “I’m so glad that Elisabeth is with the Lord, and not in that box.”

But, even knowing this to be true, their hearts were broken. Dr. Torrey said that the next day, as he was walking down the street, the whole thing broke anew-the loneliness of the years ahead without her presence, the heartbreak of an empty house, and all the other implications of her death. He was so burdened by this that he looked to the Lord for help. He said, “And just then, this fountain, the Holy Spirit that I had in my heart, broke forth with such power as I think I had never experienced before, and it was the most joyful moment I had ever known in my life! Oh, how wonderful is the joy of the Holy Ghost! It is an unspeakable glorious thing to have your joy not in things about you, not even in your most dearly loved friends, but to have within you a fountain ever springing up, springing up, springing up, always springing up three hundred and sixty-five days in every year, springing up under all circumstances unto everlasting life!” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Worry

Somebody has said that ulcers are caused not by what you eat, but by what is eating you! ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Worry

Worriers spend a lot of time shoveling smoke. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Worry

Worry is like a rocking chair; it will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Worry

A child does not worry all day long whether his house will be there when he gets home from school or whether his parents will have a meal for him that evening. Children do not worry about such things, because they trust their parents. In the same way, we as Christians should trust our heavenly Father to supply what is best for us. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Worry

Death was walking toward a city, and a man stopped Death and asked, “What are you going to do?” Death said, “I’m going to kill ten thousand people.” The man said, “That’s horrible!” Death said, “That’s the way it is; that’s what I do.”

As the day passed, the man warned everyone he could of Death’s plan. At the end of the day he again met Death. He said, “You said you were going to kill ten thousand people, and yet seventy thousand died.” Death explained, “I killed only ten thousand. Worry and fear killed the others.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Worry

Mickey Rivers, at the time an outfielder for the Texas Rangers professional baseball team, stated his philosophy of life: “Ain’t no sense worrying about things you got control over, because if you got control over them, ain’t no sense worrying. And there ain’t no sense worrying about things you got no control over either, because if you got no control over them, ain’t no sense worrying.”— Reported in Dallas Morning News, May 20,1984

 

Anxiety

A doctor had to give a painful shot to a four-year-old girl. When she learned what the doctor was about to do, her face showed her anxiety and her body tensed. As the doctor picked up what looked to the little girl to be a needle large enough to kill an elephant, she turned her eyes to her father, who then took her hand and fixed his eyes on hers. An expression of confidence and calmness came on her face. She knew she was not alone and found comfort, not in her father’s spoken answer, but in his presence with her in her time of trial. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Happiness

        There is a tendency throughout like to search for the easy answer to every problem. We all search for Easy Street. Well, I am told that it actually exists. Just travel to Honolulu, Hawaii, and take the Pali Highway northbound. Travel about a third of the way to the Pali Pass and turn right on Park Street. Go one block and there it is: “Easy Street.” The problem comes when you turn left and go one block more. There’s another sign that says “Dead End.”

        Dead end-that’s what happens in like, too, whenever we think we’ve found the easy way.

 

Happiness

        If  lasting happiness could be found in having material things and in being able to indulge ourselves in whatever we wanted, then most of us in America should be delirious with joy and happy beyond description. We should be producing books and poems that describe our state of unparalleled bliss. Our literature and art should rival that of the ancient Greeks and Romans and Renaissance craftsmen.

        Instead we find those who have “things” trying to get more of them, for no apparent reason other than to have more. We find high rates of divorce, suicide, depression, child abuse, and other personal and social problems beyond description. We find housewives trading tranquilizer prescriptions. All this is surely proof that happiness is not found in the state of having all we want and being able to get more.

 

Sorrow

        You may soon forget those with whom you have laughed, but you will never forget those with whom you have wept.

 

Sorrow

        Dr. R.A. Torrey was one of the great Bible teachers of a past generation and founder of the Bible Institute of Los Angeles (BIOLA University). He and Mrs. Torrey went through a time of great heartache when their twelve-year-old daughter was accidentally killed. The funeral was held on a gloomy, miserable, rainy day. They stood around the grave and watched as the body of their little girl was put away. As they turned away, Mrs. Torrey said, “I’m so glad that Elisabeth is with the Lord, and not in that box.”

        But, even knowing this to be true, their hearts were broken. Dr. Torrey said that the next day, as he was walking down the street, the whole thing broke anew-the loneliness of the years ahead without her presence, the heartbreak of an empty house, and all the other implications of her death. He was so burdened by this that he looked to the Lord for help. He said, “And just then, this fountain, the Holy Spirit that I had in my heart, broke forth with such power as I think I had never experienced before, and it was the most joyful moment I had ever known in my life! Oh, how wonderful is the joy of the Holy Ghost! It is an unspeakable glorious thing to have your joy not in things about you, not even in your most dearly loved friends, but to have within you a fountain ever springing up, springing up, springing up, always springing up three hundred and sixty-five days in every year, springing up under all circumstances unto everlasting life!”

 

Lessons from Sorrow

        Until I learned to trust,

              I never learned to pray;

        And I did not learn to fully trust

              Till sorrows came my way.

        Until I felt my weakness,

              His strength I never knew

        Nor dreamed ‘til I was stricken

              That he could see me through.

        Who deepest drinks of sorrow,

              Drinks deepest, too, of grace;

He sends the storm so he himself

              Can be our hiding place.

        His heart, that seeks our highest-GOOD-

              Knows well when things annoy;

        We would not long for heaven

              If earth held only joy.—William G. Coltman

 

Lessons from Sorrow

        Oh, you tears,

        I’m thankful that you run.

        Though you trickle in the darkness,

        You shall glitter in the sun.

        The rainbow could not shine if the rain refused to fall;

        And the eyes that cannot weep are the saddest eyes of all.—Charles Mackay

 

Lessons from Sorrow

        I walked a mile with Pleasure;

        She chatted all the way,

        But left me none the wiser

        For all she had to say.

        I walked a mile with Sorrow

        And ne’er a word said she;

        But, oh, the things I learned from her

        When Sorrow walked with me!—Robert Browning Hamilton

 

Worry

I could no more worry than I could curse or swear.— John Wesley

 

Anxiety

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones. And when you have finished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake! ―― Victor Hugo

 

Sorrow

You may soon forget those with whom you have laughed, but you will never forget those with whom you have wept. ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

Lessons from Sorrow

        Until I learned to trust,

              I never learned to pray;

        And I did not learn to fully trust

              Till sorrows came my way.

        Until I felt my weakness,

              His strength I never knew

        Nor dreamed ‘til I was stricken

              That he could see me through.

        Who deepest drinks of sorrow,

              Drinks deepest, too, of grace;

        He sends the storm so he himself

              Can be our hiding place.

        His heart, that seeks our highest-GOOD-

              Knows well when things annoy;

        We would not long for heaven

              If earth held only joy.— William G. Coltman

 

Lessons from Sorrow

        Oh, you tears,

        I’m thankful that you run.

        Though you trickle in the darkness,

        You shall glitter in the sun.

        The rainbow could not shine if the rain refused to fall;

        And the eyes that cannot weep are the saddest eyes of all.— Charles Mackay

 

Lessons from Sorrow

        I walked a mile with Pleasure;

        She chatted all the way,

        But left me none the wiser

        For all she had to say.

        I walked a mile with Sorrow

        And ne’er a word said she;

        But, oh, the things I learned from her

        When Sorrow walked with me!—Robert Browning Hamilton

 

Worry

Worry has been defined as “a small trickle of fear that meanders through the mind until it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.” ── Michael P. GreenIllustrations for Biblical Preaching

 

ANXIETY, (see also WORRY)

Q. What lies at the bottom of the ocean and twitches?
A. A nervous wreck.   

── Health, Canada.

 

ANXIETY, (see also WORRY)

The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety. ── George Muller.

 

ANXIETY, (see also WORRY)

Anxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged, it cuts a channel into which all others thoughts are drained. ── Arthur Somers Roche.

 

ANXIETY, (see also WORRY)

An average person's anxiety is focused on :

40% -- things that will never happen
30% -- things about the past that can't be changed
12% -- things about criticism by others, mostly untrue
10% -- about health, which gets worse with stress
8% -- about real problems that will be faced

 

GRIEF

The home of Paul Laurence Dunbar, noted poet, is open to the public in Dayton, Ohio. When Dunbar died, his mother left his room exactly as it was on the day of his death. At the desk of this brilliant man was his final poem, handwritten on a pad. After his mother died, her friends discovered that Paul Laurence Dunbar's last poem had been lost forever. Because his mother had made his room into a shrine and not moved anything, the sun had bleached the ink in which the poem was written until it was invisible. The poem was gone. If we stay in mourning, we lose so much of life.    

Henry Simon Belleville, Illinois 1 Thessalonians 4:13.


Edith Rockefeller McCormick, the daughter of John D. Rockefeller, maintained a large household staff. She applied one rule to every servant without exception: They were not permitted to speak to her. The rule was broken only once, when word arrived at the family's country retreat that their young son had died of scarlet fever. The McCormicks were hosting a dinner party, but following a discussion in the servants' quarters it was decided that Mrs. McCormick needed to know right away. When the tragic news was whispered to her, she merely nodded her head and the party continued without interruption.

Today in the Word, September 29, 1992.


In her book First We Quit Our Jobs, Marilyn J. Abraham writes: "We signed up for a hike with a ranger, who told us a remarkable thing: when a tree's life is threatened, stressed by the elements of fire, drought, or other calamity, it twists beneath its bark to reinforce and make itself stronger. On the surface, this new inner strength may not be visible, for the bark often continues to give the same vertical appearance. Only when the exterior is stripped away, or when the tree is felled, are its inner struggles revealed." God can use our grief to strengthen us in ways that are not visible to the world.

Terry Fisher, San Mateo, California.


In 1858 Scottish missionary John G. Paton and his wife sailed for the New Hebrides (now called Vanuatu) Three months after arriving on the island of Tanna, his wife died. One week later his infant son also died. Paton was plunged into sorrow. Feeling terribly alone, and surrounded by savage people who showed him no sympathy, he wrote, "Let those who have ever passed through any similar darkness as of midnight feel for me. As for all other, it would be more than vain to try to paint my sorrows...But for Jesus, and His fellowship...I would have gone mad and died."  

Daily Bread, August 6, 1992.   1 Thessalonians 4:13


A miserable looking woman recognized F.B. Meyer on the train and ventured to share her burden with him. For years she had cared for a crippled daughter who brought great joy to her life. She made tea for her each morning, then left for work, knowing that in the evening the daughter would be there when she arrived home. But the daughter had died, and the grieving mother was alone and miserable. Home was not "home" anymore. Meyer gave her wise counsel. "When you get home and put the key in the door," he said, "say aloud, 'Jesus, I know You are here!' and be ready to greet Him directly when you open the door. And as you light the fire tell Him what has happened during the day; if anybody has been kind, tell Him; if anybody has been unkind, tell Him, just as you would have told your daughter. At night stretch out your hand in the darkness and say, 'Jesus, I know You are here!'" Some months later, Meyer was back in that neighborhood and met the woman again, but he did not recognize her. Her face radiated joy instead of announcing misery. "I did as you told me," she said, "and it has made all the difference in my life, and now I feel I know Him."  

W. Wiersbe, The Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, p. 194.


In a recent sermon, Bill Hybels shared this story: A friend of mine has a brain-damaged daughter. Sometimes the sadness she feels over her daughter's condition overwhelms her, as it did recently. She wrote me this letter and gave me permission to quote from it:

". . . I can hardly bear it sometimes. My most recent wave of grief came just last year before her sixteenth birthday. As the day approached, I found myself brooding over all the things that she would never be able to do. What did I do? What I've learned to do again and again: I did what I believe is the only thing to do to conquer grief, and that is to embrace it. . . I cried and cried and cried, and faced the truth of my grief head on."

People who face their feelings and express them freely begin the journey toward hope. 

Preaching Today.


Commentary

Author Edgar Jackson poignantly describes grief: Grief is a young widow trying to raise her three children, alone. Grief is the man so filled with shocked uncertainty and confusion that he strikes out at the nearest person. Grief is a mother walking daily to a nearby cemetery to stand quietly and alone a few minutes before going about the tasks of the day. She knows that part of her is in the cemetery, just as part of her is in her daily work. Grief is the silent, knife-like terror and sadness that comes a hundred times a day, when you start to speak to someone who is no longer there. Grief is the emptiness that comes when you eat alone after eating with another for many years.

Grief is teaching yourself to go to bed without saying good night to the one who had died. Grief is the helpless wishing that things were different when you know they are not and never will be again. Grief is a whole cluster of adjustments, apprehensions, and uncertainties that strike life in its forward progress and make it difficult to redirect the energies of life.

Charles Swindoll, Growing Strong, p. 171.

 

HAPPINESS

Are most people happy? Dennis Wholey, author of Are You Happy? reports that according to expert opinion, perhaps only 20 percent of Americans are happy.

Those experts would probably agree with the wry definition of happiness offered by psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, who said, "Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children and by children to adults."

Our Daily Bread, October 11, 1994.


Quarterback cum ESPN commentator Joe Theismann, allegedly explaining to his soon-to-be-ex second wife why he had an affair: "God wants Joe Theismann to be happy."

Source Unknown.


Holiday Inn, when looking for 500 people to fill positions for a new facility, interviewed 5,000 candidates. The hotel managers interviewing these people excluded all candidates who smiled fewer than four times during the interview. This applied to people competing for jobs in all categories.

Bits & Pieces, March 3, 1994, p. 11.


A fascinating study on the principle of the Golden Rule was conducted by Bernard Rimland, director of the Institute for Child Behavior Research. Rimland found that "The happiest people are those who help others." Each person involved in the study was asked to list ten people he knew best and to label them as happy or not happy. Then they were to go through the list again and label each one as selfish or unselfish, using the following definition of selfishness: a stable tendency to devote one's time and resources to one's own interests and welfare--an unwillingness to inconvenience one's self for others." (Rimland, 'The Altruism Paradox,' Psychological Reports 51 [1982]: 521) In categorizing the results, Rimland found that all of the people labeled happy were also labeled unselfish. He wrote that those "whose activities are devoted to bringing themselves happiness...are far less likely to be happy than those whose efforts are devoted to making others happy" Rimland concluded: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." (Ibid, p. 522). 

Martin & Diedre Bobgan, How To Counsel From Scripture, Moody Press, 1985, p. 123.


What really makes people satisfied with their lives? Amazingly, the secret may lie in a person's ability to handle life's blows without blame or bitterness. These are the conclusions of a study of 173 men who have been followed since they graduated from Harvard University in the early 1940s. The study, reported in the American Journal of Psychiatry, noted that one potent predictor of well-being was the ability to handle emotional crisis maturely. 

Today in the Word, November 2, 1993.


6 weeks before he died, a reporter asked Elvis Presley, "Elvis, when you first started playing music, you said you wanted to be rich, famous and happy. Are you happy?" 

"I'm lonely as hell" he replied.

Source Unknown.


A woman I know climbed on the bathroom scale after two weeks of butterless toast and chilly jogs around the park. The needle was still stuck on the number where she'd started. This struck her as typical of how things had been going lately. She was destined never to be happy.

As she dressed, scowling at her tight jeans, she found $20 in her pocket. Then her sister called with a funny story. When she hurried out to the car -- angry that she had to get gas -- she discovered her roommate had already filled the tank for her. And this was a woman who thought she'd never be happy.

Every day, it seems, we're flooded with pop-psych advice about happiness. The relentless message is that there's something we're supposed to do to be happy -- make the right choices, or have the right set of beliefs about ourselves. Our Founding Fathers even wrote the pursuit of happiness into the Declaration of Independence.

Coupled with this is the notion that happiness is a permanent condition. If we're not joyful all the time, we conclude there's a problem.

Yet what most people experience is not a permanent state of happiness. It is something more ordinary, a mixture of what essayist Hugh Prather once called "unsolved problems, ambiguous victories and vague defeats -- with few moments of clear peace."

Maybe you wouldn't say yesterday was a happy day, because you had a misunderstanding with your boss. But weren't there moments of happiness, moments of clear peace? Now that you think about it, wasn't there a letter from an old friend, or a stranger who asked where you got such a great haircut? You remember having a bad day, yet those good moments occurred.

Happiness is like a visitor, a genial, exotic Aunt Tilly who turns up when you least expect her, orders an extravagant round of drinks and then disappears, trailing a lingering scent of gardenias. You can't command her appearance; you can only appreciate her when she does show up. And you can't force happiness to happen -- but you can make sure you are aware of it when it does.

While you're walking home with a head full of problems, try to notice the sun set the windows of the city on fire. Listen to the shouts of kids playing basketball in the fading light, and feel your spirits rise, just from having paid attention.

Happiness is an attitude, not a condition. It's cleaning the Venetian blinds while listening to an aria, or spending a pleasant hour organizing your closet. Happiness is your family assembled at dinner. It's in the present, not in the distant promise of a "someday when..." How much luckier we are -- and how much more happiness we experience -- if we can fall in love with the life we're living.

Happiness is a choice. Reach out for it at the moment it appears, like a balloon drifting seaward in a bright blue sky.

Condensed from Glamour, Adair Lara, Reader's Digest.


At the height of her fame as the other woman in the Ivana and Donald Trump breakup, Marla Maples spoke of her religious roots. She believed in the Bible, she told interviewers, then added the disclaimer, "but you can't always take [it] literally and be happy." 

C. Colson, The Body, p. 124.


In answer to the question, "Where is happiness?" Clarence Macartney said, "It's not found in pleasure--Lord Byron lived such a life if anyone did. He wrote, "The worm, the canker, and the grief are mine alone." Happiness is not found in money--Jay Gould, the American millionaire, had plenty of that. When dying, he said, "I suppose I am the most miserable man on earth." It's not found in position and fame--Lord Beaconsfield enjoyed more than his share of both. He wrote, "Youth is a mistake, manhood a struggle, and old age a regret." It's not found in military glory--Alexander the Great conquered the known world in his day. Having done so, he wept in his tent because, he said, "There are no more worlds to conquer.""

Clarence Macartney.


I have now reigned above 50 years in victory or peace, beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. In this situation I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot: they amount to 14! O man, place not thy confidence in this present world! 

Abdalrahman, in The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.


Ever notice that when your cup of happiness is full, somebody always jogs your elbow?

Source Unknown.


An old man was asked what had robbed him of joy the most in his lifetime. He replied, "Things that never happened!" Someone has cited these three keys to happiness: 1)Fret not--He loves you (John 13:1), 2)Faint not--He holds you (Psalm 139:10), 3)Fear not--He keeps you (Psalm 121:5).

Source Unknown.


Ten rules for happier living:

1. Give something away (no strings attached)

2. Do a kindness (and forget it)

3. Spend a few minutes with the aged (their experience is a priceless guidance)

4. Look intently into the face of a baby (and marvel)

5. Laugh often (it's life's lubricant)

6. Give thanks (a thousand times a day is not enough)

7. Pray (or you will lose the way)

8. Work (with vim and vigor)

9. Plan as though you'll live forever (because you will)

10.Live as though you'll die tomorrow (because you will on some tomorrow)

 

Source Unknown.

 


To ask that God's love should be content with us as we are is to ask that God should cease to be God: because He is what He is, His love must, in the nature of things, be impeded and repelled by certain stains in our present character, and because He already loves us He must labour to make us lovable. We cannot even wish, in our better moments, that He could reconcile Himself to our present impurities--no more than the beggar maid could wish that King Cophetua should be content with her rags and dirt, or a dog, once having learned to love man, could wish that man were such as to tolerate in his house the snapping, verminous, polluting creature of the wild pack. What we would here and now call our "happiness" is not the end God chiefly has in view: but when we are such as He can love without impediment, we shall in fact be happy. 

C.S. Lewis.


Happiness is not the end of life; character is. 

H.W. Beecher.


There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.

Robert Louis Stevenson.


Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally. Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us a wild-goose chase, and is never attained. Follow some other object and very possibly we may find that we have caught happiness without dreaming of it.

Nathaniel Hawthorne.

 

WORRY
(see also ANXIETY)

Worry is fear's extravagance. It extracts interest on trouble before it comes due. It constantly drains the energy God gives us to face daily problems and to fulfill our many responsibilities. It is therefore a sinful waste. A woman who had lived long enough to have learned some important truths about life remarked, "I've had a lot of trouble -- most of which never happened!" She had worried about many things that had never occurred, and had come to see the total futility of her anxieties.

Source Unknown.


An unknown poet has written: "I heard a voice at evening softly say,/ 'Bear not your yesterdays into tomorrow,/ Nor load this week with last week's load of sorrow. / Lift all your burdens as they come, nor try/ To weigh the present with the by-and-by./ One step and then another, take your way;/ Live day by day!'"

Our Daily Bread.


How you can tell when it's going to be a rotten day:

You wake up face down on the pavement.   You call Suicide Prevention and they put you on hold.   You see a "60 Minutes" news team waiting in your office.   Your birthday cake collapses from the weight of the candles.   You turn on the news and they're showing emergency routes out of the city.   Your twin sister forgot your birthday.   Your car horn goes off accidentally and remains stuck as you follow a group of Hell's Angels on the freeway.    Your boss tells you not to bother to take off your coat.  The bird singing outside your window is a buzzard.   You wake up and your braces are locked together.    You call your answering service and they tell you it's none of your business.    Your income tax check bounces.    You put both contact lenses in the same eye.   Your wife says, "Good morning, Bill", and your name is George.

Source Unknown.


If pleasures are the greatest in anticipation, just remember that this is also true of trouble.

Elbert Hubbard, Bits & Pieces, August 20, 1992, p. 5.


To act out the principle of turning prayers over to God, we took a paper bag, wrote "God" on it, and taped it up high on the back of our kitchen door. As I prayed about matters such as my career, my role as a father, my abilities to be a good husband, I would write down each concern on a piece of paper. Then those pieces of paper would go in the bag. The rule was that if you start worrying about a matter of prayer that you've turned over to God, you have to climb up on a chair and fish it out of the bag. I don't want to admit how much time I spent sifting through those scraps of paper. 

David Mackenzie, Still Married, Still Sober, IVP, 1991, p. 117.


The beginning of anxiety is the end of faith, and the beginning of true faith is the end of anxiety. George Muller Massena, one of Napoleon's generals, suddenly appeared with 18,000 soldiers before an Austrian town which had no means of defending itself. The town council met, certain that capitulation was the only answer. The old dean of the church reminded the council that it was Easter, and begged them to hold services as usual and to leave the trouble in God's hands. They followed his advice. The dean went to the church and rang the bells to announce the service. The French soldiers heard the church bells ring and concluded that the Austrian army had come to rescue the town. They broke camp, and before the bells had ceased ringing, vanished.

Source Unknown.


I am inwardly fashioned for faith, not for fear. Fear is not my native land; faith is. I am so made that worry and anxiety are sand in the machinery of life; faith is the oil. I live better by faith and confidence than by fear, doubt and anxiety. In anxiety and worry, my being is gasping for breath--these are not my native air. But in faith and confidence, I breathe freely--these are my native air. A John Hopkins University doctor says, "We do not know why it is that worriers die sooner than the non- worriers, but that is a fact." But I, who am simple of mind, think I know; We are inwardly constructed in nerve and tissue, brain cell and soul, for faith and not for fear. God made us that way. To live by worry is to live against reality. 

Dr. E. Stanley Jones, Transformed by Thorns, p. 95.


The Bridge You'll Never Cross

Fret not--He loves you (John 13:1)    Faint not--He holds you (Psalm 139:10)    Fear not--He keeps you (Psalm 121:5)

Source Unknown.


For several years a woman had been having trouble getting to sleep at night because she feared burglars. One night her husband heard a noise in the house, so he went downstairs to investigate. When he got there, he did find a burglar. "Good evening," said the man of the house. "I am pleased to see you. Come upstairs and meet my wife. She has been waiting 10 years to meet you." 

William Marshall, Eternity Shut in a Span.


Worry is faith in the negative, trust in the unpleasant, assurance of disaster and belief in defeat...worry is wasting today's time to clutter up tomorrow's opportunities with yesterday's troubles. A dense fog that covers a seven-city-block area one hundred feet deep is composed of less than one glass of water divided into sixty thousand million drops. Not much is there but it can cripple an entire city.  When I don't have anything to worry about, I begin to worry about that. 

Walter Kelly.


Connie Mack was one of the greatest managers in the history of baseball. One of the secrets of his success was that he knew how to lead and inspire men. He knew that people were individuals. Once, when his team had clinched the pennant well before the season ended, he gave his two best pitchers the last ten days off so that they could rest up for the World Series. One pitcher spent his ten days off at the ball park; the other went fishing. Both performed brilliantly in the World Series. Mack never criticized a player in front of anyone else. He learned to wait 24 hours before discussing mistakes with players. Otherwise, he said, he dealt with the goofs too emotionally. 

In the first three years as a major league baseball manager, Connie Mack's teams finished sixth, seventh, and eighth. He took the blame and demoted himself to the minor leagues to give himself time to learn how to handle men. When he came back to the major leagues again, he handled his players so successfully that he developed the best teams the world had ever known up to that time. 

Mack had another secret of good management: he didn't worry. "I discovered," he explained, "that worry was threatening to wreck my career as a baseball manager. I saw how foolish it was and I forced myself to get so busy preparing to win games that I had no time left to worry over the ones that were already lost. You can't grind grain with water that has already gone down the creek." 

Bits and Pieces, December 13, 1990.


Every evening I turn worries over to God. He's going to be up all night anyway. 

Mary C. Crowley, Be Somebody.


Why worry when you can trust. It is like a rocking chair, it give you something to do but doesn't get you anywhere.

Source Unknown.


Worry pulls tomorrow's cloud over today's sunshine.

C. Swindoll, Questions Christians Ask,  p. 18.


Worry is wasting today's time to clutter up tomorrow's opportunities with yesterday's troubles.

Source Unknown.


Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow. 

Swedish proverb.


God is a help in trouble. In worry you are on your own.  When you worry, which do you worry about, what might happen or what might not happen? Whichever, turn it around, to relieve anxiety. That's common advice in Scotland. For worriers, the Scots have a proverb: "What may be, may not be."

Source Unknown.


What does your anxiety do? It does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, but it does empty today of its strength. It does not make you escape the evil; it makes you unfit to cope with it when it comes. God gives us the power to bear all the sorrow of His making, but He does not guarantee to give us strength to bear the burdens of our own making such as worry induces. 

Ian Maclaren.


A bassoon player came up to his conductor, Arturo Toscanini, and nervously said that he could not reach the high E flat. Toscanini just smiled and replied, "Don't worry. There is no E flat in your music tonight." Many of our worries are like that-- unfounded and unnecessary.

Source Unknown.


Hudson Taylor, missionary to China and founder of what is today known as the Overseas Missionary Fellowship, gave this excellent advice: "Let us give up our work, our plans, ourselves, our lives, our loved ones, our influence, our all, right into [God's] hand; and then, when we have given all over to Him, there will be nothing left for us to be troubled about."

Hudson Taylor.


J. Arthur Rank, an English executive, decided to do all his worrying on one day each week. He chose Wednesdays. When anything happened that gave him anxiety and annoyed his ulcer, he would write it down and put it in his worry box and forget about it until next Wednesday. The interesting thing was that on the following Wednesday when he opened his worry box, he found that most of the things that had disturbed him the past six days were already settled. It would have been useless to have worried about them.

Source Unknown.


In 480 B.C. the outmanned army of Sparta's King Leonidas held off the Persian troops of Xerxes by fighting them one at a time as they came through a narrow mountain pass. Commenting on this strategy, C.H. Sprugeon said, "Suppose Leonidas and his handful of men had gone out into the wide-open plain and attacked the Persians--why, they would have died at once, even though they might have fought like lions." Spurgeon continued by saying that Christians stand in the narrow pass of today. If they choose to battle every difficulty at once, they're sure to suffer defeat. But if they trust God and take their troubles one by one, they will find that their strength is sufficient.

Source  Unknown.


An average person's anxiety is focused on :

40% -- things that will never happen  30% -- things about the past that can't be changed   12% -- things about criticism by others, mostly untrue  10% -- about health, which gets worse with stress   8% -- about real problems that will be faced

Source Unknown.


How to conquer worry:

Get plenty of rest; troubles often look smaller as you get closer; distinguish between those parts of life you can control and those you can't; check your goals--are you worrying about unrealistic ambitions? Depend on God. .

Happiness is a Choice, p. 171.

 

SORROW

We should be thankful for our tears: They prepare us for a clearer vision of God.

William A. Ward.


In northern Chile, between the Andes Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, lies a narrow strip of land where the sun shines every day! Clouds gather so seldom over the valley that one can say, "It almost never rains here!" Morning after morning the sun rises brilliantly over the tall mountains to the east. Each noon it shines brightly overhead, and every evening it brings a picturesque sunset. Although storms are often seen rising high in the mountains, and heavy fog banks hand their gray curtains far over the sea, Old Sol continues to shed his warming rays upon this "favored" and protected strip of territory. One might imagine this area to be an earthly paradise, but is far from that! It is a sterile and desolate wilderness! There are no streams of water, and nothing grows there.

We often long for total sunshine and continuous joy in life, and we desire to avoid the heartaches that bring tears to our eyes. Like that sunny, unfertile part of Chile, however, life without clouds and even an occasional downpour would not be productive or challenging. But though showers do come, they will also end, and the sun will shine again. "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Psalm 30:5).

Our Daily Bread.


Not long after arriving in new Hebrides as a pioneer missionary, John G. Paton and his wife rejoiced in the coming of a baby son to gladden their home. But the joy was short-lived. Soon death took both his wife and child, and Dr. Paton had to dig their graves and bury his loved ones with his own hands. In writing of this experience, he testified, "If it had not been for Jesus and the fellowship and grace He afforded me, I am certain I would have gone mad or died of grief beside their lonely graves." Marvelously strengthened from above, the bereaved servant of God found that the promises of the Word were able to sustain him through the heartache and sorrow of his tragic loss.

Our Daily Bread, August 6, 1992


Commentary and Devotion

Crying is common in this world. It does little good to ask the reason for it. Muddyscuttle is what one might call a weeping planet. Laughter can be heard here and there, but by and large, weeping predominates. With maturity the sound and reason for crying changes, but never does it stop. All infants do it everywhere--even in public. By adulthood most crying is done alone and in the dark. Weeping, for babies, is a sign of health and evidence that they are alive. Isn't this a chilling omen? Not laughter but tears is the life sign. It leaves "weeping" and "being" synonyms.

Calvin Miller, The Valiant Papers, p. 22.


Poetry

Let thy gold be cast in the furnace,
The red gold, precious and bright;
Do not fear the hungry fire,
With its caverns of burning light;
And thy gold shall return more precious,
Free from every spot and stain;
For gold must be tried by fire,
As a heart must be tried by pain!
In the cruel fire of Sorrow
Cast thy heart, do not faint or wail;
Let thy hand be firm and steady
Do not let thy spirit quail:
But wait till the trial is over
And take thy heart again;
For as gold is tried by fire,
So a heart must be tried by pain!
I shall know by the gleam and the glitter
Of the golden chain you wear,
By your heart's calm strength in loving,
Of the fire they have had to bear.
Beat on, true heart, forever!
Shine bright, strong golden chain!
And bless the cleansing fire,
And the furnace of living pain!

Adelaide Anne Proctor


"The road is too rough," I said,
"Dear Lord, there are stones that hurt me so."
And He said, "Dear child, I understand,
I walked it long ago."
"But there's a cool green path," I said;
"Let me walk there for a time."
"No child," He gently answered me,
"The green path does not climb."
"My burden," I said, "Is far too great,
How can I bear it so?"
"My child," He said, "I remember the weight;
I carried My cross, you know."
But I said, "I wish there were friends with me
Who would make my way their own."
"Oh, yes," He said, "Gethsemane
Was hard to bear alone."
And so I climb the stony path,
Content at last to know
That where my Master had not gone,
I would not need to go.
And strangely then I found new friends,
The burden grew less sore;
And I remember--long ago
He went that way before.

Olga J. Weiss

 

Worry

        Worry has been defined as “a small trickle of fear that meanders through the mind until it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.”

 

Worry

        Somebody has said that ulcers are caused not by what you eat, but by what is eating you!

 

Worry

        Worriers spend a lot of time shoveling smoke.

 

Worry

        Worry is like a rocking chair; it will give you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.

 

Worry

        A child does not worry all day long whether his house will be there when he gets home from school or whether his parents will have a meal for him that evening. Children do not worry about such things, because they trust their parents. In the same way, we as Christians should trust our heavenly Father to supply what is best for us.

 

Worry

        Death was walking toward a city, and a man stopped Death and asked, “What are you going to do?” Death said, “I’m going to kill ten thousand people.” The man said, “That’s horrible!” Death said, “That’s the way it is; that’s what I do.”

        As the day passed, the man warned everyone he could of Death’s plan. At the end of the day he again met Death. He said, “You said you were going to kill ten thousand people, and yet seventy thousand died.” Death explained, “I killed only ten thousand. Worry and fear killed the others.”

 

Worry

        Mickey Rivers, at the time an outfielder for the Texas Rangers professional baseball team, stated his philosophy of life: “Ain’t no sense worrying about things you got control over, because if you got control over them, ain’t no sense worrying. And there ain’t no sense worrying about things you got no control over either, because if you got no control over them, ain’t no sense worrying.”—Reported in Dallas Morning News, May 20,1984

 

Worry

        I could no more worry than I could curse or swear.—John Wesley

 

Optimism

        The Marine officer, when he saw that he and his men were surrounded by the enemy, said, “Men, we are surrounded by the enemy; don’t let a one of them get away.”

 

Optimism

        There are two rooms-one full of brand-new toys, the other full of hay and horse manure. Two children are taken into them, one a pessimist, the other an optimist.

        The pessimist looked at the first room and cried because all those wonderful toys would soon be broken. The optimist was in the other room shoveling. “I know there’s got to be a horse in here somewhere,” he said.

 

Optimism

        Somebody has well said that there are only two kinds of people in the world-there are those who wake up in the morning and say, “Good morning, Lord,” and there are those who wake up in the morning and say, “Good Lord, it’s morning.”

 

Optimism

        During the Battle of Britain, someone said to a man on the street in London, “Things look pretty dark, don’t they?” The man replied, “But the King says there’s ‘ope, Sir!”

 

Optimism

        It is written on a sundial on a pier at Brighton, England: “Tis always morning somewhere in the world.”

 

Optimism

        A shoe salesman, upon finding out that in his new territory no one wore shoes, wrote his company and said, “Don’t send any shoes, because no one here wears them.”

        Another salesman in the same territory wrote the company and said, “Send all the shoes you’ve got; nobody here has any.”

 

Optimism

        I regard myself am an optimist. An optimist is a person who knows exactly how sad a place the world can be. A pessimist is one who is forever finding out.—Peter Unstinov

 

Pessimism

        An optimist said to a pessimist, “Isn’t this a bright, sunny day?” The pessimist replied, “Yes, but if this heat spell doesn’t stop soon, all the grass will burn up.”

        Two days later, the optimist said to the pessimist, “Isn’t this rain wonderful?” The pessimist replied, “Well, if it doesn’t stop soon, my garden will wash away.”

        The next day, the optimist invited the pessimist to go duck hunting. The optimist wanted to show off his new registered hunting dog that could do things no other dog could. The pessimist looked at the dog and said, “Looks like a mutt to me.”

        At that moment, a flock of ducks flew over. The optimist shot one of the ducks and it fell in the middle of the lake. He snapped his fingers and his new dog ran after the duck. The dog ran out on the water, picked up the duck, and ran back on the water. The optimist took the duck from the dog’s mouth, turned to the pessimist, and said, “What do you think of my dog now?” The pessimist replied, “Dumb dog-can’t even swim!”

 

Pessimism

        When someone is convinced that things can’t be done, he will cling to that conviction in the face of the most obvious contradiction. The story is told of the time when Robert Fulton gave the first public demonstration of his steamboat. One of those “can’t be done” fellows stood in the crowd along the shore repeating, “He can’t start it.”

        Suddenly, there was a belch of steam and the boat began to move. Startled, the man stared for a moment and then began to chant, “He can’t stop it.”

 

Anxiety

Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones. And when you have finished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake! ―― Victor Hugo

 

Anxiety

           A doctor had to give a painful shot to a four-year-old girl. When she learned what the doctor was about to do, her face showed her anxiety and her body tensed. As the doctor picked up what looked to the little girl to be a needle large enough to kill an elephant, she turned her eyes to her father, who then took her hand and fixed his eyes on hers. An expression of confidence and calmness came on her face. She knew she was not alone and found comfort, not in her father’s spoken answer, but in his presence with her in her time of trial.

 

JOY.

Ⅰ. Joy of Salvation, as we trust in Him. “ Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation” (Psalm 51:12).

Ⅱ. Joy of Union, as we abide in Him. “ That My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” (John 15:11).

Ⅲ. Joy of Communion, as we talk to, and listen to Him. “ Did not our heart burn within us, while He talked with us by the way” (Luke 24:32).

Ⅳ. Joy of Service, as we work for Him. “ So that I might finish my course with joy” (Acts 20:24).

Ⅴ. Joy of Presence, as we look to Him. “ Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord” (John 20:20)

Ⅵ. Joy of His Word, as we feed upon and obey Him. “ Thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of my heart” ( Jer.15:16).

Ⅶ. Joy of Victory, as we fight in Him. “Rejoice with great joy” (Neh.12:43).

Ⅷ. Joy of Suffering, in fellowship with Him. “ Rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer” (Acts 5:41).

Ⅸ. Joy of Glory. “ Ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1. Peter 1:8).

── F.E. MarshFive Hundred Bible Readings

 
The Fruit Of The Spirit - Joy
 
INTRODUCTION
 
1. Those who are influenced and directed by the Holy Spirit will 
   produce "the fruit of the Spirit" in their lives - cf. Ga 5:22-23
   a. We noted in our previous study that there is not a plurality of
      fruits, but one fruit
   b. Yes, only one fruit that is made up of several inter-related 
      graces or virtues, all of which will be manifested if one is 
      truly walking in the Spirit
 
2. Prominent, of course, will be the virtue of "love", which we 
   observed...
   a. Was defined as "active good will", that which seeks the highest
      good of others
   b. Is best exemplified by Jesus Christ, who through His example has
      taught us what love really is - cf. Jn 15:13; 1 Jn 3:16
   c. Should be the "universal motive" for all that we do - 1 Co 16:14
 
3. As noted in Ga 5:22, the fruit of the Spirit also involves "joy"
   a. It is interesting to note the relationship between the Holy 
      Spirit and joy in several passages:
      1) The kingdom of God is "joy in the Holy Spirit" - cf. Ro 14:17
      2) The Thessalonians had received the word "with joy of the Holy
         Spirit" - 1 Th 1:6
      3) And of course, our text in Ga 5:22
   b. Therefore, one who is led by the Spirit, and walking by the 
      Spirit, will be someone filled with much joy in his or her life!
 
[But what is joy?  How can Christians be filled with joy?  As we seek
to produce the fruit of the Spirit in our lives, let's take a closer
look at "joy"...]
 
I. THE DEFINITION OF "JOY"
 
   A. THE GREEK WORD IS "CHARA"...
      1. Which Thayer defines as "joy, gladness"
      2. Vine adds "delight"
      -- By one count the word is used 60 times in the NT
 
   B. THE VERB FORM OF "CHARA" IS "CHAIREIN"...
      1. Which is most often translated "to rejoice"
      2. It is used 72 times in the NT
 
   C. CLOSELY RELATED IS THE WORD "CHARIS"...
      1. Which is the word most often translated as "grace"
      2. Vine defines grace in the objective sense as "that which 
         bestows or occasions pleasure, delight, or causes favorable
         regard"
      3. Therefore grace is what produces joy!
 
   D. THE CONNECTION BETWEEN "GRACE" AND "JOY"...
      1. One's joy is directly proportional to the grace one has 
         received, or at least to the perception of grace that one has
         received
         a. Receive a small gift, and your joy might be minimal
         b. Receive a large gift, and your joyous reaction is greater
      2. When Christians' don't have much joy in their lives, something
         is wrong:  "If you have no joy in your religion, there's a
         leak in your Christianity somewhere." (BILLY SUNDAY)
      3. Here is one explanation why Christians may be joyless:  "The
         reason why many poor souls have so little heat of joy in 
         their hearts, is that they have so little light of Gospel
         knowledge in their mind.  The further a soul stands from the
         light of truth, the further he must needs be from the heat of
         comfort." (WILLIAM GURNALL)
 
   E. THE JOY OF THE LORD IS ABIDING....
      1. The Lord certainly does not want Christians to be joyless
         - cf. Jn 15:11
      2. The joy He gives is "inexpressible and full of glory", able to
         sustain us in the worst of circumstances - cf. 1 Pe 1:6-8
         a. Unlike the "passing pleasures of sin" (He 11:25) which are
            fleeting
         b. Even the good things in life eventually prove to be 
            "vanity" - Ecc 2:10-11
      3. Therefore He has made it possible for the Christian to say 
         with Paul:
 
         "Rejoice in the Lord always.  Again I will say, rejoice!"
                                       - Ph 4:4
 
[A failure to remember those things graciously given us which make for
joy in our lives can explain why some Christians do not have the degree
of "joy" (gladness, delight) they should have.
 
But Christians have every reason to be joyful.  We just need to 
remember what it is that produces joy.  Let's review just a few...]
 
II. SOURCES OF JOY FOR THE CHRISTIAN
 
   A. JOY IS A CONSEQUENCE OF FAITH...
      1. Joy comes from having "a confident trust" (faith) in God - cf.
         Ph 1:25
         a. Without faith in God and Christ, we cannot experience 
            abiding joy
         b. Why is faith essential to joy?
            1) It dispels the attitudes that prevent joy from occurring
            2) Such as "worry" (cf. Mt 6:25-30), "doubt" and "fear"
               - cf. Mt 14:27-31
      2. Since joy is based upon faith, this emphasizes the importance
         of the Word of God in producing joy...
         a. For faith comes from the Word of God - Ro 10:17
            1) The Word of God produces faith
            2) In turn faith produces joy - cf. Ro 15:13
         b. The very teachings of Jesus are designed to give us joy 
            - Jn 15:11; 17:13
      -- Thus the need to read and study the Bible daily!
 
   B. JOY IS ALSO THE RESULT OF OBEDIENCE...
      1. Obedience to the Word of God fosters joy in the hearts of the
         obedient
         a. Notice the conversion of the Samaritans - Ac 8:5-8
         b. Also the conversion of the Ethiopian eunuch - Ac 8:35-38
         c. And the conversion of the Thessalonians - 1 Th 1:6
      2. Conversely, disobedience dispels joy and produces fear! - cf.
         He 10:26-27
      -- Could lack of joy be an indication of lack of obedience on 
         your part?
 
   C. JOY IS BASED UPON FORGIVENESS...
      1. The guilt of sin is a major reason why many people lack joy
         a. Awareness of such guilt causes stress, unhappiness, and
            worry
         b. Even as Paul illustrated in describing the condition of one
            struggling with the problem of sin - cf. Ro 7:22-24
      2. But where there is forgiveness, there can be joy!
         a. Consider the 32nd Psalm of David...
            1) He introduces his theme by speaking of the "blessedness"
               (or joy) of one whose sins are forgiven - Ps 32:1-2
            2) He describes how the guilt of his sin affected him 
               inwardly - Ps 32:3-4
            3) But at last he confessed his sin and was forgiven - Ps 
               32:5
            4) He describes the joy that the righteous (i.e., the 
               forgiven) can experience - Ps 32:10-11
         b. The correlation between forgiveness and joy is also seen in
            Ps 51:7-12
         c. Today, those in Christ can enjoy forgiveness of sins and 
            the joy that follows - cf. Ro 5:1-2,10-11
      -- If you have not yet received the forgiveness found only in 
         Christ, there is no way to experience the abiding joy that 
         comes only "in the Lord"
 
   D. JOY ALSO COMES FROM CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP...
      1. It is a joy just to "see" such fellowship
         a. Paul experienced joy by witnessing love and fellowship in
            Philemon - Phile 7
         b. He also found great joy in learning of the restoration of
            brethren - 2 Co 7:7
      2. How much more, the joy of "experiencing" such fellowship!
         a. Paul rejoiced in the fellowship he had with the Philippians
            - Ph 4:10
         b. John spoke of the joy that comes of Christian fellowship
            reunited - 2 Jn 12
      -- Are you developing and nurturing the kind of Christian 
        fellowship that adds to our joy?
   
   E. JOY COMES FROM CHRISTIAN SERVICE...
      1. There is the joy of spreading the gospel
         a. Barnabas rejoiced in the conversions at Antioch - Ac 11:
            20-23
         b. The Christian Jews delighted to hear of the conversion of
            the Gentiles - Ac 15:3
      2. There is great joy in seeing the spiritual progress of others
         a. This was a frequent source of joy to Paul - Ro 16:19; Co 
            2:5; 1 Th 3:6-9
         b. John wrote that this was the highest form of joy - 3 Jn 4
         c. One reason this is true is that those whom we have brought
            to Christ...
            1) Will not only be a source of joy for us now
            2) But especially in the day of Christ! - cf. 1 Th 2:19-20
      3. Jesus also spoke of the "blessedness" (i.e., joy) of giving to
         others - Ac 20:35
      -- All those who are willing to become involved in serving the 
         Lord, whether it be through teaching or the giving of one's 
         time, energy or money, will experience joy from such service!
 
CONCLUSION
 
1. The wonderful joy of the Lord is open to all who would receive it 
   through such things as:
   a. Faith in Christ
   b. Obedience to His Will
   c. Forgiveness through His blood
   d. Fellowship with His disciples
   e. Service in His Kingdom
   -- And it is the kind of joy that can sustain us through life, as
      Nehemiah told Israel:
 
              "The joy of the Lord is your strength"
                                  - Neh 8:10
 
2. Certainly those who are...
   a. Born of the Spirit
   b. Walking in the Spirit
   c. Being led by the Spirit
   ...will be involved in all these things, and as a consequence will
      bear the fruit of the Spirit which includes "joy"
 
3. Why not begin experiencing this joy today by...
   a. Obeying the gospel of Christ
   b. Receiving the forgiveness of sins through the blood of Christ
   c. Participate in the fellowship of Christian love as you work
      toward bringing others to salvation in Christ - cf. Ac 2:38-42

 

--《Executable Outlines