Blog Posts on Joy

When the Prospect of Pain Threatens Our Pleasure

Jonathan Parnell

The problem might go something like this.

My family and I were sitting around the dinner table, and one of the kids said something funny. I can’t remember exactly what was said, but we were all laughing, all six of us, in the euphoria of spontaneous jollification. We were all glad together, in one of those moments when, as a young parent, you sort of come out of yourself to…

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The Deep Joy of Self-Denial

Jonathan Parnell

Jesus gives us commands — “demands,” we might call them. They are words issued to us from his comprehensive authority in all of heaven and earth, all linked together in some way, forming a beautiful tapestry of what it means to live under his lordship.

But the question remains for us in how they are connected. How do we understand them in relation to one another? Take, for example, the…

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The Joy Seeker’s Idol

Tony Reinke

We were made to enjoy God.

That’s the message of Desiring God, and we believe it’s the message of the Bible. But if we’re honest, we don’t always feel joy. For most of our lives it seems we feel mediocre, or dry, sometimes depressed, but mostly we feel preoccupied with all the details of life. Only in those rare moments when it seems all of our circumstances align just right…

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When Joy Is Hard to Come By

David Mathis

You’re not alone in your struggle for joy.

With remaining sin in our hearts, brokenness in our lives, and fallenness in our world, every Christian experiences seasons where we simply don’t feel the joy. And many of the “greats” in the history of the church have been some of her most downcast and depressed.

The question is not whether we will one day feel the angst of David’s heart, “Restore…

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Don’t Give Up on Joy

Jonathan Parnell

You don’t have to wallow in sadness.

Ben Stuart says this realization was one of the greatest gifts God gave him in his fight against sadness. He learned from the Psalms that we could push back against sad feelings with the truths of God’s word. We can fight back for joy in God.

In this three minute video, Ben talks about three weapons in the fight against sadness and encourages…

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Was Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret the Same As Paul’s?

John Piper

Hudson Taylor’s son and daughter-in-law wrote Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret in 1932. It is a brief narrative of Taylor’s life with a focus on the “secret” of his spiritual peace and strength.

They expressed his “secret” as follows:

Taylor had many secrets, for he was always going on with God, yet they were but one — the simple, profound secret of drawing for every need, temporal or spiritual, upon “the…

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The Kinds of Gifts That Keep on Giving

Marshall Segal

In the next few hours, you may have more stuff than you’ve had all year — some expected, others a surprise; some practical, others sentimental; some useful, and others not as much.

It might be the latest television or phone or video game system or kitchen appliance, or gift cards to your favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or department store. You may unwrap beautiful jewelry or tickets to a big game…

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My Joy and God’s Holiness: Friends or Foes?

Tony Reinke

Happiness and holiness are inseparable. True holiness is unattainable without true happiness. Happiness is part of holiness — even the essence of holiness.

But there’s an even deeper connection between our happiness and holiness, and it’s rooted in God’s holy character.

Holy, Holy, Holy!

Many times, a sermon on the holiness of God will start with Isaiah 6:1–5, with a dramatic recounting of Isaiah, the priest, entering the temple…

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Are You Chasing Happiness or Holiness?

Tony Reinke

Such a question actually reveals a common mistake of pitting holiness and happiness against each other. “God is more interested in you being holy than happy,” so the line goes.

One of my favorite theologians falls prey to this subtle dichotomy in a book to be released next year. Overall it’s a great book (with plenty of strengths to commend later), but here I want to make a friendly amendment…

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