8 comments on “Scriptures That Bother Me — Philippians 4:4-5

  1. You know, I can hang with that. I have always resented equating joy with happiness – I think the two can be similar but not related. But true joy is expressed in our ability to focus on the needs of those around us and not on ourselves.

    I know that in those isolated times that I have risen above my own situation and truly participated in someone else’s need, I have found joy.

    Tough, thorny, but true!!

  2. i dont know. i think joy is also a gift. something that we cant re-create or read books about…or even read scripture to “feel” joyous, or “be” joyous. i dont believe that paul actually created joy by being considerate, but that the Lord actually gave it to him in the midst of his persecution.

    i think why christianity bothers me so much is because we think there is a formula to be a certain way. when in reality, even in our sins, love, joy, peace, honor, and understanding grace is something that cant be manufactured by reading books, scripture, going to seminars, or even church. its just simply…a gift. like grace…salvation, etc. its a gift from the Almighty Himself. Praise Him.

  3. Yikes! Talk about a bothersome scripture. This was one of those that has always been difficult for me to wrap my mind around. I remember Dad doing a sermon when I was a teen about the difference between Joy and Happiness. He basically said that happiness is something fleeting and something we create, but Joy is something that only the Holy Spirit can give us. It is real and will help us get through those times that we “can’t” feel happy about. What is left is a deep, satisfying “joy” that we know Christ is in control and that joy is because we “know” we will get through it. Hmmm. That does seem to happen. In these last 3 weeks since the death of our nephew, I have certainly experienced times of laughter and silliness thinking of happy times with Jake. But when I think long about him I am filled with sadness. But it isn’t an all consuming sadness where I can’t look up and feel that “joy” that I know Christ is with me and won’t let me stay in my sadness. During this time I can’t make myself happy. I can only let Christ fill me with the deep “joy” that only He can give me.
    Okay. Long enough. Just a thought. Love you much.

  4. Excellent discussion on a challenging topic – how to be joyful in difficult circumstances. Paul “learned the secret of being content in any and every situation,” and God through him commanded us to be joyful. I think that command implies control – that we too can learn to be content even in difficult times. For my exploration of Paul’s “secret”, see Journey to Joy – http://amzn.com/144218776X

  5. I can dig it Jim, I struggle with that too. I know the normal me which is very considerate as you say on days when I can sense a certain joy within my own spirit. At those other times when I am troubled, fearful, lonely, insecure, and unsure about my present and future, i have to really work hard to maintain a sense of “professionalism’. i don’t mean on the job, i mean in life cause i think to myself, ‘what is going on with me isn’t on somebody else so they don’t deserve to have to deal with what i feel.’ at the same time those that KNOW me really can tell there is a difference. i can’t hide and pretend everything is everything all the time, but i figure i can be respectful and courteous if at all possible. otherwise i just try to get lost so my feelings and attitude don’t hurt others.

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