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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 tell others what good things God has done for us. His blessings far outweigh life’s difficulties.” (Life Application Study Bible, Acts 20:18-21)

“Many of us shrink from becoming a healing presence to others because of the initial cost. We don’t experience the full joy because we get stuck in the suffering. Joy emerges by living through the suffering to the other side.” (Albert S. Rossi)

“The righteous have no sorrows that are not turned into joy, as sinners have no joy that is not turned into sorrow." (St. Dmitri of Rostov)

“True contentment begins as a holy discontentment, a longing planted in our hearts by God Himself." (Marsha Crockett)

“The first step toward contentment is thankfulness. And thankfulness is an attitude, an approach to life. Thankfulness leads to contentment..." (Steve and Mary Farrar)

"When Christ becomes our central focus, contentment replaces our anxiety as well as our fears and insecurities." (Charles Swindoll)

“He who does the Lord’s will is content with all things, though he be poor or sick and suffering, because the grace of God gladdens his heart. But the man who is discontent with his lot and murmurs against his fate, or against those who cause him offense, should realize that his spirit is in a state of pride, which has taken from him his sense of gratitude towards God." (St. Silouan the Athonite)

“Discontent is a continual search for something to fill an aching emptiness which we cannot define. Discontent is often associated with the need to fulfill His will through a desire to follow our own whims. As we strive to answer the voice of our Lord, we have to contend with many issues. The first is to ascertain whether we are truly called to make a change or deepen our commitment with a specific action or whether we are simply bored with life and looking for a little excitement. Our unhappy feelings may not stem from being on the wrong path as much as not having the right will.” (A.K. Frailey)

“One reason so many people are unhappy is that, though they are busy pursuing happiness, they aren’t all that sure what happiness is." (Stuart Briscoe)

“The pursuit of individual happiness has been made into an ideal in our time…the basic truth [is] that the happiness of the individual depends on its relationship with the rest of human beings.” (Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon)

"We all seek happiness in life, but happiness does not mean the same thing to all people…Spiritual fulfillment and true happiness have suffered from the fast pace of modern society…Happiness has its roots from deep within our soul. It has to source from the soul.” (Father George Papadeas)

“Most books, talk shows, psychologists and other"experts” get it wrong when it comes to being happy…they have one huge inherent flaw that breeds the opposite of happiness – they are based on achieving happiness through self-reliance and self-focus. Any theory of happiness that begins with the word"self” such as self-esteem and self-actualization is ultimately wrong-headed because too much self-focus ultimately breeds anxiety not happiness. So what is happiness? Happiness is simply being fully in the moment (i.e., living in the present) and focusing lovingly on others. It’s a state of a mind and a movement away from self that paradoxically fulfills self. Real happiness is the by-product of right living which is communion with Christ that leads to a deeper love for Him which in turn leads to a deeper love for others.” (Sacramental Living) "Jesus Christ, through His teachings, life, and resurrection, becomes the star that guides us to our true path of happiness and fulfillment…The bottom line is this: the way to happiness, and the way of Jesus Christ is love…The supreme happiness of life is the conviction of being loved for yourself, or more correctly, being loved in spite of yourself.” (Eva Kokinos, Unknown)

“Bring your inner life under God’s control and your outer life will naturally reflect Him… The inner state of the people is God’s highest priority" (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 11:4252, Dynamis 8/26/2015)

"If our obedience [to God] is sincere, it bestows upon us the peace from above. If we practice it ungrudgingly (even if we do not like what we have been asked to do), we will find inner stillness and"the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Phil. 4:7)." (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“If we are easily offended or lose our peace of mind when someone treats us badly, we cannot attain inner peace. The Christians who live with internal strife and worry neither edify other Christians nor reflect anything of Christianity that would be attractive to those who have no faith. Such people can even be serious stumbling blocks for others because their religiosity seems to be the cause of their weaknesses.” (Abbot Tryphon)

"If you cannot find tranquility in the midst of disturbance, you will not be tranquil even in the midst of tranquility. When inner tranquility comes to a man, everything inside him will be tranquil, and he will not be disturbed by anything." (Elder Paisios the Athonite)

"We are only stewards of our inner life, never the masters." (Dynamis 1/25/2014)

“He [Christ] has come to us as the Prince of Peace, offering a divine peace that is much greater than any comfort or security offered in this world. It is a peace that is available to all humanity, regardless of current challenges, threats, living conditions or stage of life. It is a peace that cannot be disturbed by the violence and insecurities of this broken world, for its origin is the God of peace, and it is sustained by His abundant grace.” (Archbishop Demetrios)

"Christianity is a religion of joy.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"True joy is far deeper than happiness; we can feel joy in spite of our deepest troubles. Happiness is temporary because it is based on external circumstances, but joy is lasting because it is based on God’s presence within us.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 16:9) "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)

“Jesus is saying,"I can give it. I can give you absolute, unfathomable satisfaction in the core of your being regardless of what happens outside, regardless of circumstance. He’s talking about deep soul satisfaction, about incredible satisfaction and contentment that doesn’t depend on what is happening outside of us.” (Pastor Timothy Keller) "A manifest sign of love for God is a heartfelt gladness in God, for we rejoice in what we love. Likewise love of God cannot exist without joy, and whenever one feels the sweetness of the love of God within his heart, he rejoices in God....This joy is spiritual and heavenly, and is a foretaste of the sweetness of eternal life." (St. Tikhon of Zadonsk)

“People in a hurry never have time for recovery. Their minds have little time to meditate and pray so that problems can be put in perspective. In short, people in our age are showing signs of physiological disintegration because we are living at a pace that is too fast for our bodies. This is the essence of the stress problem.” (Archibald Hart)

“Planning for tomorrow is time well spent; worrying about tomorrow is time wasted. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference. Careful planning is thinking ahead about goals, steps, and schedules, and trusting in God’s guidance. When done well, planning can help alleviate worry. Worriers, by contrast, are consumed by fear and find it difficult to trust God. They let their plans interfere with their relationship with God.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 6:34)

"Good stress (also called"eustress,” from the Latin eu, meaning good) is positive and helpful only because it is not experienced continuously. It excites, but then it lets the system go back to normal quickly. If a moment never comes when all the demand for stress is passed—if the body never returns to a state of rest and recovery—the result will be bad stress (or"distress,” from the Latin dis, meaning bad), no matter what originally produced the arousal. Much of the damaging stress we experience comes from threats that can’t be acted on because they exist only in the mind and imagination.” (Archibald Hart)

“Here is the difference between worry and genuine concern—worry immobilizes, but concern moves you to action.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 6:25)

"Prayer can release our tensions in times of emotional stress. Trusting God to be our rock, salvation, and fortress will change our entire outlook on life.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 62:3-7)

“Peace is communion with God, and Jesus himself is our peace... Perfect peace is brought by Christ, who reconciles humanity to God.” (Archimandrite Robert Taft, SJ; Orthodox Study Bible, John 14:27)

“Peace is simplicity of heart, serenity of mind, tranquility of soul, the bond of love. Peace means order, harmony in our whole being; it means continual contentment springing from the knowledge of a good conscience; it is the holy joy of a heart in which God reigns. Peace is the way to perfection, indeed in peace is perfection to be found. The devil, who is well aware of all this, makes every effort to have us lose our peace.” (Saint Pio of Pietrelcina)

"…the peace of the Lord as a unique type of peace, not to be confused with the term used by the world to describe a non-warring condition between nations and groups during which violence and civil commotion remain at a minimum. Christ’s peace is a condition of the heart that exists when the love of God is known and returned to Him… We abide in Christ and secure our bond with Him by making an honest effort to bear fruit. As we abide in Him, we receive His fruit of peace.” (Dynamis 6/2/2017)

“The peace of God moves into our hearts and lives to restrain these hostile forces and offer comfort in place of conflict. Jesus says He will give us that peace if we are willing to accept it from Him. If your life is full of stress, allow the Holy Spirit to fill you with Christ’s peace." (Life Application Study Bible, John 14:27)

“There is nothing better than peace in Christ...When peace dwells in a man’s heart it enables him to contemplate the grace of the Holy Spirit from within. He who dwells in peace collects spiritual gifts as it were with a scoop, and he sheds the light of knowledge on others." (St. Seraphim of Sarov)

“Temptation and its accompanying sorrow will gradually subside as the strength of God grows within us… When the Lord’s true imprint is embossed on our hearts, we develop a peculiar sorrow"that is full of joy.” (Dynamis 6/10/2014, 2/25/2014)

“Godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10)

“Holy sorrow is part of repentance, conversion, and virtuous action, and is the firstfruit of infinite joy. It is to be distinguished from ungodly sorrow, a sadness that leads to despair." (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 5:3)

"There never was—and there never will be—a place on earth free from sorrows. The only sorrow-less place possible is the heart, when the Lord is present there." (St. Nikon of Optina)

"...look at Jesus. He was perfect, right? And yet he goes around crying all the time. He is always weeping, a man of sorrows. Do you know why? Because He is perfect. Because when you are not all absorbed in yourself, you can feel the sadness of the world.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“...true peace and rest lie not in outward things...And therefore we must consider and see what is that peace which Christ left to His disciples at the last, when He said:"My peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you.” We may perceive that in these words Christ did not mean a bodily and outward peace...Christ Himself said:"In this world you shall have tribulation.” But Christ meant that true, inward peace of the heart, which begins here, and endures forever hereafter.” (Theologia Germanica)

"The Holy Spirit gives peace to those who imitate Christ. Thus, peacemakers share God's peace with those around them, imitating Christ's sacrificial love and participating in His work. By God's grace, peacemakers become sons of God themselves.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 5:9)

“...we will receive a true and enduring peace from Him [Christ], a peace that comes from the transformation of our souls, hearts, and minds in His image and will. We will also share this peace with others.” (Archbishop Demetrios of America)

"God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing." (C.S. Lewis)

"Jesus is saying,"I can give it. I can give you absolute, unfathomable satisfaction in the core of your being regardless of what happens outside, regardless of circumstance. He’s talking about deep soul satisfaction, about incredible satisfaction and contentment that doesn’t depend on what is happening outside of us.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"We need to make time from our busy lives to rid ourselves of the"junk" that separates us from God, go to our own"private" place with Him, to be rejuvenated. For some, that"place" maybe a church, for others a scenic meadow, for still others, their private room. But wherever that"place" may be, in order to be spiritually healthy, we need to visit it frequently to find God's will for us in our lives. Only there can peace be found. But we need to make the first step to separate ourselves from the busyness of our lives." (Marianne C. Sailus)

“When the early monastic Fathers and Mothers struggled to be"spiritual athletes” through ascesis [spiritual practice or struggle], one of the telltale signs that they were making progress was peace in their hearts or inner stillness. Our modern world desperately seeks after this hesychia [stillness], as the Fathers called it. People move from a big city to a small town to"slow down” their pace of life. Someone might take medicine to reduce the anxiety or stress levels. The problem is that true hesychia comes from within. No external change or medicine will do what the Sacramental life in communion with prayer, fasting and almsgiving will.” (Abouna Justin Rose)

"How mistaken are those people who seek happiness outside of themselves, in foreign lands and journeys, in riches and glory, in great possessions and pleasures, in diversions and vain things, which have a bitter end! It is the same thing to construct the tower of happiness outside of ourselves as it is to build a house in a place that is consistently shaken by earthquakes. 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. Nectarius of Aegina)

"Ego says: ‘Once everything falls into place, I will find peace.’ Spirit says:"Find peace, and everything will fall into place.’” (Anonymous)

“We can satisfy spiritual hunger and sustain spiritual life only by a right relationship with Jesus Christ. No wonder he called himself the bread of life. But bread must be eaten to sustain life, and Christ must be invited into our daily walk to sustain spiritual life.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 6:35)

“God is omnipresent—He is present everywhere. Because this is so, you can never escape from His Spirit. This is good news to those who know and love God, because no matter what we do or where we go, we can never be far from God’s comforting presence." (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 139:7)

"...we can also take comfort in knowing that Jesus also suffered. He understands our fears, our weaknesses, and our disappointments... He promised never to leave us...and He intercedes on our behalf... In times of pain, persecution, or suffering, we should trust confidently in Christ.” (Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 11:35-39)

“One of the purposes of prayer is to bring our hearts to trust in his wisdom, not in our own. It is to say,"Here’s what I need—but you know best.” It is to leave all our needs and desires in his hands in a way that is possible only through prayer. That transaction brings a comfort and rest that nothing else can bring.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"Sometimes we need assurance, to see, to hear, to be comforted, and God finds a way to let us know.” (Father John Zeyack)

"When comfort is withdrawn, do not be cast down, but humbly and patiently await the visitation of God, for He is able and powerful to give you more grace and more spiritual comfort than you first had.” (Thomas À Kempis)

“We do not need to wait for the next life to enjoy God’s rest and peace; we may have it daily now!" (Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 4:8-11)

“What separates the Christian faith from other faiths is that we believe in this life, the here and now, we can experience a foretaste of Heaven when we experience the peace Christ was talking about when He said"My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.” (John 14:27). We experience more and more of the peace of Christ as we grow in union with Him. (Sacramental Living II)

“Our Sabbath-rest in Christ begins when we trust Him to complete His good and perfect work in us...This rest is a foretaste of our eternal joy when creation will be renewed and restored, every mark of sin will be removed, and the world will be made perfect again." (Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 4:4)

“God offers us the opportunity to enter His ultimate place of rest—He invites us to come to Christ. To enter His rest, you must believe that God has this relationship in mind for you; you must stop trying to create it; you must trust in Christ for it; and you must determine to obey Him. Today is the best time to find peace with God. Tomorrow may be too late.” (Life Application Study Bible, Hebrews 4:4-6)

“The God who made us intended our lives to be governed by regular patterns of work and rest” (James Stuart Bell)

“The secret to peace with God is to discover, accept and appreciate God’s perfect timing. The danger is to doubt or resent God’s timing.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)

“Any circumstance in which a man finds himself unwillingly is a prison for him. So be content with whatever circumstances you may now be in, lest by being ungrateful you punish yourself unwittingly." (St. Anthony the Great)

“Only with the Lord and in the Lord can you find spiritual peace for yourself. If you want true peace, seek God first. Then He will give you His peace.” (St. Nikon of Optina)

“Give us this day our daily bread.”(Jesus Christ)

“Christ said give us this day our daily bread – our spiritual nourishment for the day we are in – not tomorrow or yesterday. We experience His peace as He states when He says -"My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:27) - when we trust God in our hearts for the details of our lives and live fully in the present moment by moment. No one or no circumstance can rob us of this peace if we are truly in the life of Christ” (Anonymous)

“There are two kinds of peace. False peace…is a shallow harmony that results from ignoring issues of truth. Genuine peace is reconciliation to God through faith in Christ and surrender to truth. Genuine peace has division as a byproduct because not everyone wants truth. In the fallen world, divisions are necessary for truth to be manifest” (The Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 12:51)"Peacemaking is not always popular. Some people prefer to fight for what they believe in. The glory of battle is in the hope of winning, but someone must be the loser. The glory of peacemaking is that it may actually produce two winners.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 120:7)

“Real peace comes from faith in God, because He alone embodies all the characteristics of peace. To find peace of mind and peace with others, you must find peace with God.” (Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 122:6-9) For true peace lies in a noetic union with Christ and wells up from deep down inside the core of one’s being. It is a peace arising from oneness of heart with Him Who said,"My peace I give to you” (Dynamis 2/10/13)

“Only faith in Christ brings true peace.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Luke 19:42)

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength. It does not enable us to escape evil. It makes us unfit to face evil when it comes. It is the interest you pay on trouble before it comes.” (Corrie ten Boom)

“One is given strength to bear what happens to one, but not the 100 and 1 different things that might happen.” (C. S. Lewis)

“Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.” (William Feather)

“What will make you happy? What will really give you a satisfying life? Almost always you will answer by thinking of something from outside of you. Some of us have our hopes set on romantic love, some on career, some on politics or a social cause, and some of us on money and what it will do for us. But whatever it is that makes you say,"If I have that, if I get there, then I’ll know I’m important, then I’ll know have significance, then I know I’ll have security”—it’s likely something outside of you. Yet Jesus says, there’s nothing outside of you that can truly satisfy the thirst that is deep down inside you.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“When things are going well, we feel elated. When hardships come, we sink into depression. But true joy transcends the rolling waves of circumstance. Joy comes from a consistent relationship with Jesus Christ. When our lives are intertwined with his, He will help us walk through adversity without sinking into debilitating lows and manage prosperity without moving into deceptive highs. The joy of living with Jesus Christ daily will keep us levelheaded, no matter how high or low our circumstances.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 15:11)

"Joy is the echo of God’s life within us.” (Joseph Marmion)

“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” (Jesus Christ)

“God created the Sabbath for our benefit; we are restored both physically and spiritually when we take time to rest and to focus on God.” (Life Application Study Bible, Mark 2:25-28)"This rhythm of work and rest is not only for believers; it is for everyone, as part of our created nature. Overwork or underwork violates that nature and leads to breakdown. To rest is actually a way to enjoy and honor the goodness of God’s creation and our own. To violate the rhythm of work and rest (in either direction) leads to chaos in our life and in the world around us. Sabbath is therefore a celebration of our design.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“In our world of constant activity, we are suffering from a certain level of motion sickness. We go from one thing to the next and never take time to catch our breath...the first step to fixing our attention on our Creator is to be still in His presence and experience a firsthand relationship with the God who made us. Look what God says in Psalm 46:10:"Be still, and know that I am God...Stillness with God invites soul-deep changes. Stillness makes us new again where it really matters.” (Ryan Shook & Josh Shook)

“In a world of noise, confusion, and relentless pressures, people long for peace. Many give up the search, thinking it impossible to find, but true peace of heart and mind is available to us through faith in Jesus Christ.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 1:3)

“It is Jesus' peace which allows us to weather storms of trial and tribulation without being cowed and brokenhearted. It is His peace which saves us from anger in the face of adversity. It is His peace which"passes understanding” in the eyes of the world around us. It is His peace which allows us to be"in” the world, but not"of” the world." (Fr. Joseph Irvin)

“Those who accept and appropriate Christ's love are reconciled to God, being restored to peace and communion with Him. God has not ceased to be our Friend, for He is unchangeable. We are the ones who have changed and thus need changing.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Romans 5:10)

“But Christ’s peace works in the opposite way, not through less thinking, but through more. Not by ignoring reality, but by paying attention to it. The Holy Spirit tells you the Father loves you; your eternal bliss is guaranteed. In other words, Christ gives us true things to think about that overcome the darkness of this life, while the world can only say,"just hum loudly and look away.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“As Christians, we should expect continuing tension with an unbelieving world that is"out of sync” with Christ, his Good News, and his people. At the same time, we can expect our relationship with Christ to produce peace and comfort because we are"in sync” with Him." (Life Application Study Bible, John 16:31-33)

"Satisfaction doesn’t always mean happiness. For me, to be satisfied means there is a sense of rightness in the experience, a fullness that comes when I recognize how I have been truly present to the moment. When we are satisfied, we feel we have"enough.” I feel satisfied when I don’t let life just slip by unnoticed.” (Christine Valters Paintner)

“...contemporary people think life is all about finding happiness...To live for happiness means that you are trying to get something out of life. But when suffering comes along, it takes the conditions for happiness away, and so suffering destroys all your reason to keep living. But to"live for meaning” means not that you try to get something out of life but rather that life expects something from us. In other words, you have meaning only when there is something in life more important than your own personal freedom and happiness, something for which you are glad to sacrifice your happiness." (Victor Frankl)

“There is a wonderful law of nature that the three things we crave most – happiness, freedom, and peace of mind – are always attained by giving them to someone else.” (Unknown)

“God wants you to live life to the fullest, with no hesitation and no regrets and with overflowing joy. He’s waiting for you to abandon all the unhealthy habits, relationships, and junk that you’re grasping at to find fulfillment.” (Ryan Shook & Josh Shook)

“Joy is a common theme in Christ’s teachings—He wants us to be joyful...The key to immeasurable joy is living in intimate contact with Christ, the source of all joy.” (Life Application Study Bible, John 17:13)

“Christian peace does not start with the ousting of negative thinking. If you do that, you may simply be refusing to face how bad things are. That is one way to calm yourself—by refusing to admit the facts. But it will be a short-lived peace! Christian peace doesn’t start that way. It is not that you stop facing the facts, but you get a living power that comes into your life and enables you to face those realities, something that lifts you up over and through them.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

"Many believers have experienced this peace of God. It is not just positive thinking or willpower. It is a sense that no matter what happens, everything will ultimately be all right, even though it may not be at all right at the moment…That is the character of Christian peace. It is an inner calm and equilibrium but also a sense of God’s presence and an almost reason-transcending sense of His protection.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“Being"blessed” by God means the experience of hope and joy, independent of outward circumstances.” (Life Application Study Bible, Matthew 5:3-12)

“True happiness is grace from God that gives us peace and joy. We respond to this grace through our relationship in Christ and an ultimate trust of Him in our hearts. It allows us to live fully and joyfully in any circumstance, even in our suffering.” (Sacramental Living)

“When your life seems chaotic, rest in this truth: Jesus is Lord, and God is in control.” (Life Application Study Bible, Ephesians 1:11)

“… the one who loves Christ is full of joy and radiates joy.” (Pope Francis)

"Peace is our reconciliation with God and with each other.” (Orthodox Study Bible, 1 Corinthians 1:3)

"Happiness is a by-product of wanting something more than happiness—to be rightly related to God and our neighbor. If you seek God as the nonnegotiable good of your life, you will get happiness thrown in. If, however, you aim mainly at personal happiness, you will get neither.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“...the true secret of joy and peace—imitating Christ and serving others. By focusing our minds on Christ, we will learn unity, humility, joy, and peace.” (Life Application Study Bible, Philippians 4:23)

"If, then, we seek not our own benefit but God’s glory, it will lead paradoxically to a development of our own glory, that is, of our character, humility, hope, love, joy, and peace.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

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