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Joy and Happiness - Part 1

“…we have a misleading idea at the very head of our Constitution: the pursuit of happiness. One can not pursue happiness; if he does he obscures it. If he will proceed with the human task of life, the relocation of the center of gravity of the personality to something greater outside itself, happiness will be the outcome.” (Alexis de Tocqueville)

“Modern western man has some basic misconceptions about the nature of happiness. The origin of the word is instructive: happiness stems from the root verb to happen, which implies that our happiness is what happens. Simple people in less complicated parts of the world function in this manner and exhibit a happiness and tranquility that is a puzzle to us…These people know the art of happiness, contentment with what is. Their happiness is what happens. If you can not be happy at the prospect of lunch it is not likely you will be happy over anything…The object of life is not happiness, but to serve God…” (Robert A. Johnson)

“How mistaken are those people who seek happiness outside of themselves…Happiness is found within ourselves, and blessed is the man who has understood this. Happiness is a pure heart, for such a heart becomes the throne of God.” (St. Nektarios of Aegina)

“What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could “be like gods”—could set up on their own as if they had created themselves—be their own masters—invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.” (C. S. Lewis)

“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue…Happiness…lies in self-surrender…Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is a spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” (Viktor E. Frankl, C.S. Lewis, Dennis Waitley)

“A quick search on Amazon​.com yields 409,429 results for “happiness,” with subtitles like ‘How to Develop Life’s Most Important Skill.’ How did we come to a place where we have such material riches, yet we need experts to tell us how to be happy?” (Naomi Oreskes)

"The easy life is in direct opposition to Christianity. This is not to suggest that God wants us to be unhappy. But the happiness, or rather joy of Christianity does not consist of anything the world can give us. Our joy comes from the Holy Spirit." (Father Spyridon Baily)

“The key to immeasurable joy is living in intimate contact with Christ, the source of all joy…There is no joy in this world without God.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 17:13, St. Justin Popovich of Chelije)

"Joy, in fact, is a foretaste of ultimate reality, heaven itself, or, the same thing, our world as it was meant to be, unspoiled by the fall of humankind, and one day to be remade and restored to us." (Colin Duriez)

“God’s presence is a source of joy to the upright…When God rules on the throne of the human spirit, joy reigns within.” (Foundation Study Bible, Psalms 132:16)

"Psalm 138:14 LXX (Psalm 139:14) reads, “I am fearfully and wondrously made.” I wonder how many us really believe that and that we are a source of joy to God…When we focus on ourselves (really, our false selves, even though many of us identify our false selves with ourselves, i.e., who we really are in God’s eyes), we may find that we are incapable of creating joy.” (Sacramental Living Blog, Bishop John Michael Botean)

“Parents always want their children to be happy, content, and thankful to them for all their work and sacrifice. So when they see their children in a bad mood and unthankful, they’re saddened. It’s the same with our Heavenly Father. He has given us everything, but we are always unsatisfied and gloomy. Instead of thanking and praising God for everything, we only express our thankfulness with our lips and our hearts remain cold. Joy is thankfulness, and when we are joyful, that is the best expression of thanks we can offer the Lord, Who delivers us from sorrow and sin.” (Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica)

“This image of the kind and forgiving father [in the Parable of the Prodigal Son] is the image we should all have of our Lord. He waits for us to make our way back. He waits to embrace us and welcome us home. Our burden is to make the journey. We don’t have to wonder what His reaction will be. It will be one of great joy.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“...even when you seem to be enjoying something else, God is the actual source of your joy. The thing you love is from Him and is lovely because it bears His signature. All joy is really found in God, and anything you do enjoy is derivative, because what you are really looking for is Him, whether you know it or not.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

God is everywhere, present in every place, and therefore that He is ever with me and within me, my heart expands; it is free, light, alive, and my mind is clear - I am in a joyful state.” (St. John of Krondstadt)

“The joy of the Holy Spirit is not an easy emotional high, but comes with the struggle proper to spiritual life, including persevering through affliction. The one who suffers is the one who is comforted.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Thessalonians 1:6)

“Joy that comes from God takes many forms. Sometimes it manifests itself in hearty laughter or “leaping and dancing before the Lord” (2 Samuel 6:16). At other times joy comes through a feeling of peace and well-being. Even in the darkest of times, joy comes in the knowledge that One greater than all of us can comfort us until the clouds have passed (see Jeremiah 31:10–14).” (NIV Men's Devotional Bible)

“Of all the "important" things in our lives, the single most important one is God. The most essential thing we can do for our children is to lead their hearts and minds to the knowledge and love of Him. They need to know that He created them and loves them infinitely. He wants them to know the true happiness that comes from living for and serving Him. If our children know these things, they will experience joy greater than that which comes from accomplishing anything else.” (Family Gospel Lessons)

“When you live in continual repentance, God purifies you so that there is nothing between you and Him, and you can experience the joy of His presence. You see, sin will not cut off your relationship with God, but it will hurt your fellowship with Him." (Dee Brestin and Kathy Troccoli)

“Our works do not earn us salvation, but neither are works make our communion with God fuller and more complete. Our good works help us gain God’s likeness in this life and bring us into a joyful communion with Christ. The more we become like Christ, the more joy we experience. Pain and suffering are the end result of our attaining less of God’s likeness.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“A sense of humor demonstrates to others that we live with joy and gladness in our

hearts...Living with a joyful heart adds value to our faith because it makes others want to share in the joy they see in us.” (Abbot Tryphon)

“God created you in His own image, and He wants you to experience His joy and abundance. But God will not force His joy upon you; you must claim it…Eternal gladness or joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22, 23).” (Beth Moore, Orthodox Study Bible, Isaiah 61:7)

“Joy is a choice. It’s a matter of attitude that stems from one’s confidence in God—that He is at work, that He is in full control, that He is in the midst of whatever has happened, is happening and will happen. Either we fix our minds on that and determine to laugh again, or we wail and whine our way through life. We determine which way we will go.” (Chuck Swindoll)

“Peace of soul is true wealth” (Anne Marie Gazzolo)

“The only way to find peace and"rest for you souls” is to walk on God’s path.” (Life Application Study Bible, Jeremiah 6:16)

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you; not as the world gives do I give you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (Christ – John 14:27)

“The end result of the Holy Sprit’s work in our lives is a deep and lasting peace. Unlike worldly peace, which is usually defined as absence of conflict, this peace is confident assurance in any circumstance; with Christ’s peace, we have no need to fear the present or the future. Sin, fear, uncertainty and doubt and numerous other forces are at war within us. The peace of God moves into our hearts and lives to restrain the hostile forces and offer comfort in place of conflict.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 14:27)

“God’s peace is different from the world’s peace. True peace is not found in positive thinking, in absence of conflict, or in good feelings. It comes from knowing that God is in control.” (Life Application Study Bible, Philippians 4:7)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

“Often we cling to peace and comfort, even at the cost of our walk with God.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 12:4, 5)

“…inward joy comes from knowing and trusting God and happiness comes from the result of pleasant circumstances. Inward joy is steady as long as we trust God; happiness is unpredictable. Inward joy defeats discouragement; happiness covers it up. Inward joy is lasting; happiness is temporary.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalm 4:7)

“…joy comes from our relationship in Christ and an ultimate trust of Him that is in our heart. It allows us to live fully and joyfully in any circumstance. When I say joy, I don’t mean a giddy happiness or even a depth of feeling. I mean a spiritual sense of well-being that allows us to know God loves us and is truly with us in all circumstances, even in our suffering. I’ve seen this in people who have suffered the worst tragedies possible and was amazed until I finally began to understand what it is they draw their joy and strength from.” (Sacramental Living)

“…for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I 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. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13).

"Joy must characterize the Christian, and to the extent that the Christian does not manifest joy in his or her own life, something is wrong.” (Bishop John Michael Botean)

“…joy is the presence of God in all these things. It is our impression that we are alone in the midst of our pains that is the source of our greatest sorrow. When God is there, all of our difficulties are infused with a mysterious joy. When He is not, even our greatest earthly happiness is unsatisfying.” (V. Rev. Josiah Trenham, Ph.D)

“Joy is probably the last thing we think about when we respond to trials, but it should not be so. Typically our response is to get depressed or discouraged or even angry. Joy in the midst of trial and testing demonstrates more than anything else that the Holy Spirit lives within us and that we are in the very presence of God.” (Joseph O’Day)

"God is the source of all joy. When we rejoice in anything—our family and friends, our work and hobbies, a beautiful sunset, a moving symphony, or even a win by our favorite sports team, it is God who is behind it. The Creator of the world and everything in it has given us not only existence, but also the capacity to enjoy it. Every moment of joy we experience is like a gently whispered"I love you” from the One who caused it to be.” (Bishop John Michael Botean)

"Those who look upon Christian spirituality from the outside can easily misconstrue contrition and asceticism as negative, as a denial of joy. But those who live the spiritual life know that through these things they acquire a joy that no one and nothing can take away from them." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“Our unique vocation is to live, moment by moment, the way Christ wants us to live. He is the Way. He came to show us the way. And He told us how to find the way. He said,"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11). Clearly Jesus wants us to have joy and to spread joy. When we spread joy, we give others strength and hope, thereby becoming a healing presence.” (Albert S. Rossi)

"To reach the joy and blessing of eternal life in Christ, we first experience the sadness of the passing world, along with the afflictions we must face here...To the watching world, the perseverance of the faithful during affliction appears foolish and even under trial is precious indeed, bearing more glory and honor as it continues to stand under trial." (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Peter 1:6-7)

“The Christian life will have its rough times, tears, and sorrows, as well as joys, but we should always be ready to tel