Archives For joy

Stream“All the world’s a stage” William Shakespeare

Shakespeare was a brilliant man. He understood that this world that we see and can touch with our hands is not the real world. Just as a stage has props made of wood and other materials to look like the moon or a boat or castle, they aren’t the real moon, castle or boat. It is the same for us. The things we can touch and see are not as real and important as the invisible things of the spirit world, such as angels.

Jesus said that the Holy Spirit (and therefore love) flows like a river to us and through us from heaven in John chapter 7. Romans 5:5 says that God pours out his love on us. In the book of Revelation, John saw prayers being poured out of a bowl.

The more I focus on spiritual things, the more I can imagine the love, joy and well-being that constantly flow to us from God. Sometimes when I read or listen to the Bible I can feel myself relaxing. It as if some healing tonic is flowing over me. Please leave a comment. Do you ever feel the presence of the Holy Spirit? What does it feel like to you?

“He who is happiest is he who is content…” ~Benjamin Franklin


Happiness (Photo credit: baejaar)

A wise man said to his friend “Every time I see you, you are running around in a hurry. What are you running after?”

The man answered quickly “Success, money and the rewards of my hard work.”

The wise man said “That would make sense if you assumed all those things are ahead of you, but what if all those things were behind you, and the faster you run, the more difficult it is for those things to catch up to you?”

We all run after something. What are you running after?  Are you running after money, a beautiful house, a person, a position in your company, a degree, a relationship, a better relationship with loved ones? There is nothing wrong with these things, but they won’t fully satisfy you unless you learn to be content.

A writer found an old list of goals he had set for himself. He had written many books and spoke regularly to large groups of people. He was surprised that he had accomplished every one of his goals so quickly. But as he continued to think about it, he was also surprised that he was not more content with what he had. Many people expect outward circumstances to fulfill their inner happiness. Instead of constantly running, take some time to rest and enjoy what you have.

Many very successful people who train others for success say that one of the best things you can do to achieve more success is to enjoy what you already have and be thankful. You reap what you sow, if you think about happy things you will sow more happy things. Being grateful is one way of keeping happy thoughts in your mind. Happy thoughts can’t be in your mind at the same time as sad thoughts. The best way to push sad, angry or any other undesirable thoughts out of your mind is to think about happy thoughts.

Sometimes I count my blessings in my mind, sometimes I write out a list of things I am grateful for, but either way, I always feel happier after I do it.

Enjoy where you are instead of where you want to be.

GodMake BeautifulGod loves you.

Yes, God does care about your happiness. God wants you to be happy.

Philippians 2:18  So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

There are many other verses in the Bible that show that God wants Christians to be happy. I find a lot of people believe it is somehow pious to trudge through life without any joy. This is not godly at all. It is not what God planned for you.

If you have ever had a child that you loved dearly, you want the child to be happy. God loves you even more than you love your child. He loves you more than you love yourself. He wants abundance and good things for you even more than you do. But when bad things happen some people blame it on God. Actually, many times we bring about bad things to ourselves. Let’s not blame it all on God. Romans 8:28 says that if you are a Christian, bad things are blessings in disguise. You have the power to be happy. That is God’s will for you. The Holy Spirit living in you is more powerful than you can ever imagine and will give you that power.

God wants the best for you

I have met many Christians who have bad self images. They don’t serve God because they feel they are not good enough. That is exactly what Satan wants. He wants you to be discouraged, to feel insignificant so that you won’t be a powerful force for the kingdom of God. Nehemiah 8:10 says that the joy of the Lord is your strength.

Romans 12:12  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

Romans 14:7 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit,

Roman s 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,


At a marriage conference recently, I heard one of the attendees say that God did not make marriage to make us happy but to learn difficulties. I don’t agree. If a person truly loves his/her spouse, he will find happiness in that.


I’m not saying that you will never suffer. The Apostle Paul suffered because he wanted to suffer. Phil 3:10. Jesus suffered, that was his reason for coming to earth. However, what one person considers suffering might be the best thing ever for someone else. For example, if i had nothing to eat but a little bread or rice with vegetables and some fruit three times a day, I would consider that suffering. But over one fourth of the people in the world would think that is the best thing ever because they normally don’t get three meals a day.

The mind can make a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven. ~ John Milton (Paradise Lost)

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The most incredible joy

Brad Stanton —  September 2, 2013 — 5 Comments

Cathedral of Holy Spirit, Minsk, Belarus.

Cathedral of Holy Spirit, Minsk, Belarus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Practice the Presence of God is a book written by a man who interviewed Brother Lawrence to find out how he was able to have such incredible joy in every situation of life. I once met an old man in China who had been jailed for more than 20 years for his faith. I expected him to say that it was great suffering, but instead he said that those years with Jesus were very sweet, like a honeymoon. He had plenty of time to practice the presence of the Spirit of God, and received incredible joy from it, similar to Brother Lawrence.

I have rewritten the first chapter of Practice the Presence of God in my own words because it was written hundreds of years ago in French and the only English translation I could find is difficult to read.

Practice the Presence of God

I met Brother Lawrence on August 3rd, 1666. He told me that God had done him an incredible favor by converting him into a relationship with God at the age of 18. It happened one winter, when he saw a tree that had lost all its leaves during winter. But he realized than in a relatively short time, new leaves would begin to bud and then flowers and fruit would appear. This gave him a very high view of the loving guidance and power of God which he remembers very clearly to this day. It is etched in his memory, his soul. This epiphany, this revelation had set him loose from the world and kindled such a love for God that it had not become less at all in forty years.

He had been a footman to Mr. Fieubert, the treasurer, and that he was a very large, awkward fellow who broke everything.

He wanted to work in a monastery, thinking that it would be a punishment for his faults and sins, and in that way be a sacrifice to God. He wanted to give up the pleasures of life, but he found nothing but satisfaction at the monastery and felt rather disappointed that he did not suffer for God the way Jesus suffered for us.

He said we should establish within ourselves a sense of God’s presence by continually talking with Him in prayer and that it was shameful to stop praying and to spend time thinking of  worldly things that were of no lasting importance.

He said we should feed and nourish our souls with high thoughts and meditation of God which will yield us great joy in being devoted to Him.

That we ought to enliven and build our faith. That is was unfortunate that we had so little faith and that instead of taking faith for the rule of their conduct; people amused themselves with trivial devotions which changed daily. That it was faith that is the true spirit of the way of Christ, and that it would bring us a high degree of perfection.

He said that we should totally and completely give our lives to God, not only the worldly life but also the spiritual. He said that we should seek happiness only one way—to fulfill His will and therefore the more we fulfill His will, the happier we become. And it doesn’t matter that He sometimes leads us through suffering and sometimes through easy times, all are the same to a soul who is totally devoted to God. [Since the fabric of the Holy Spirit is woven together with the fabric of our spirit, anything we do to serve God, or even sacrifice to God, we are doing partly for ourselves anyway. It is impossible to serve God without helping yourself.]

He said that sometimes a prayer time of an hour might seem dry and boring, but if we continue to pray we eventually achieve a breakthrough and find that every minute is a precious blessing. [I remember a summer when I was going through very difficult times and began to pray an hour each evening, then two hours, then sometimes even three, and those times became one of the very best times of my life. The suffering turned to joy, and it was the best joy I ever experienced. Once you experience the incredible feeling of being in unity with the Holy Spirit, you realize it is the best thing that ever happened to you. It is a taste of heaven here on earth. More about that summer here

Happy no matter what

Brad Stanton —  July 20, 2013 — 8 Comments

Remember that every good friend was once a str...

Remember that every good friend was once a stranger☺☻ (Photo credit: Vijay Bandari)

Some summer sounds certainly seem sweet. What was the best sound you ever heard? For me it was more than one sound, it was like an orchestra being played every summer evening during that unforgettable time in my life when I had just recently lost half a dozen of the best friends I had ever had. Crickets chirped, cars occasionally whizzed by, dogs barked in the distance, a train honked a horn. They sounded more beautiful than at any other time because I had spent the whole month praying for more than an hour after work, a new thing for me.

I was in my mid-twenties, single and living in a little one bedroom apartment not far from a train track. The horn of that train always brought back happy memories for me and was very comforting. But about my friends….

It just so happened that during those years I had made friends with half a dozen of the most fun and interesting people I had ever met. We were very close, sort of like the TV show Friends, or Cheers, the little bar where everybody knows your name.

They were the kind of people who could drop by any time and we would have a wonderful time, with plenty of laughter, bantering and fun stories. But during a three or four month period, some of them got married and disappeared from our little gang, the others moved out of town. Suddenly I had no close friends at all.

I had to find something to do with my time, so I took walks at the nearby park. I began to pray and meditate on the good things in life that I still had, even though it was tough to lose my friends. At first it was hard to think of things to feel grateful for. But the more I thought about and felt grateful for a few things, the more things came to mind that I could be grateful for.

Sometimes after an evening of meditation and prayer, the sounds of the night seemed like a beautiful orchestra being played for everyone who was willing to take the time to stop and enjoy the sounds.

It is summer here in the northern hemisphere (I love reading blogs from down under where it is cold now). Even now I hear the crickets chirping, the comforting sound of a fan and my neighbor’s air conditioner humming. Those sounds bring back the feelings of that Kansas summer that I learned to be thankful no matter what, and that I really could be happy even in the toughest of times.