transforming contentment into joy

Let’s start with definitions …

Contentment is feeling or showing satisfaction with one’s possessions, status or situation.   Satisfaction is the key descriptor here …

Joy is a state of happiness, a source (THINK JESUS) or cause (ONCE AGAIN, THINK JESUS) of delight.  Happiness and delight  are key descriptors here …

So IN Christ Jesus, joy is God taking contentment to the next level … moving us from simple satisfaction to a state of happiness and delight.

An simple account from Acts 5 might help illustrate …

And someone came and told them, “Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people.”  Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.  And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”  But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.  The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree.  God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.  And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”  When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill themand when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.  Then they left the presence of the council, REJOICING THAT THEY WERE COUNTED WORTHY TO SUFFER DISHONOR FOR THE NAME.  And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.  Acts 5:25-42 (ESV)

Rejoicing is to feel joy or great delight.

So in yesterday’s post, we saw how Paul found contentment in suffering … yet above we see the apostles finding joy and rejoicing over their suffering.

WOW!

When was the last time you felt joy or great delight because someone wanted to kill you … or actually beat you … or simply because you endured some suffering?

Joy? Rejoicing?

We need to understand that … Joy is God-given fruit of the Holy Spirit for those found IN Christ Jesus!

If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law … But the fruit of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.  Galatians 5:18,22-25 (ESV)

Perhaps … contentment is more grounded in man-made choices and attitudes of faith while joy and rejoicing is more about the gift from God received through the sanctifying and convicting work of the Holy Spirit …

God, you have given me much to meditate upon here … thank you Lord!

Bernie

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About bwebbjr

A grandfather, father, husband, man, and a child of God who is following Christ Jesus and working out his salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work IN me, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13). I dodged my first bullet with cancer when a cancerous polyp was removed in a sigmoid colectomy surgery in August 2007. Four years later, in the midst of a second colectomy surgery we discovered I had Stage IV metastatic colon cancer. Rather than colectomy surgery I had colostomy surgery, which now means the colostomy bag is a part of my everyday life ... with the emphasis on life. God has given us a peace beyond understanding as my wife and I have traveled this journey. By the grace of God I am blessed to be a 6 plus year cancer survivor aka warrior. In writing, I am often wrestling with my own personal struggles and beliefs and in the midst God leads me to a lesson He wants me to learn ... or sometimes He simply touches me in the revelation of Himself. My hope is that the result you see here might touch your heart and glorify God. And let me be clear ... I am not the only one with something to say. Please join in the conversation sharing your faith, your cancer experiences, etc. I would love to hear from you. Bernie
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2 Responses to transforming contentment into joy

  1. savedbygrace says:

    @”When was the last time you felt joy or great delight because someone wanted to kill you … or actually beat you … or simply because you endured some suffering?”
    …………..

    no wonder the world calls us “WEIRDOS”

    I couldn’t stop thinking. how is it, that we are half was around the world, and yet we preach the same gospel, persecuted the same as the others, rejoices in suffering just like the other whom we have not seen?

    indeed, joy is a fruit of the Spirit. its a fruit. for who can conjure Joy in times of trouble? come on! only the child of God can!

    we can’t help it but bear fruit.we rejoice in sufferings. if there is a tangible sign that indicates a person to be a Christian, this is it. rejoicing in suffering.

    a very blessed post!

    – grace and peace

    • bwebbjr says:

      The oneness and unity found IN Christ Jesus is not limited by time or space … nonetheless it is quite a miracle, Isn’t it?

      Counting it a blessing to be a WEIRDO-FOR-JESUS with you my friend …

      May your cup be overfilling with the love of Jesus!

      Bernie

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