Sermon Quotes


William Barclay 

Joy has nothing to do with material things, or with a man’s outward circumstance … a man living in the lap of luxury can be wretched, and a man in the depths of poverty can overflow with joy.

Karl Barth 

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.



Henry Ward Beecher

The test of Christian character should be that a man is a joy-bearing agent to the world.

Henry Ward Beecher

I call the New Testament the Book of Joy. There is nowhere in the world another book that is pervaded with such a spirit of exhilaration. 

Henry Drummond 

No one can get Joy by merely asking for it. It is one of the ripest fruits of the Christian life, and, like all fruits, must be grown.

Richard J. Foster 

Joy, not grit, is the hallmark of holy obedience. We need to be light-hearted in what we do to avoid taking ourselves too seriously. It is a cheerful revolt against self and pride.

Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World, HarperOne, 2005.

Jack Hyles

Happiness is untested delight. Joy is delight tested.

Timothy Keller 

If we are saved by grace alone, this salvation is a constant source of amazed delight. Nothing is mundane or matter-of-fact about our lives. It is a miracle we are Christians, and the Gospel, which creates bold humility, should give us a far deeper sense of humor and joy. We don’t take ourselves seriously, and we are full of hope for the world.


Woodrow Kroll

We rejoice in spite of our grief, not in place of it. 

C.S. Lewis

The very nature of Joy makes nonsense of our common distinction between having and wanting.

C.S. Lewis

We are to be re-made. All the rabbit in us is to disappear-and then, surprisingly, we shall find underneath it all a thing we have never yet imagined: a real Man, an ageless god, a son of God, strong, radiant, wise, beautiful, and drenched in joy.

C.S. Lewis

Joy is the serious business of Heaven.


Alexander MacLaren 

To pursue joy is to lose it. The only way to get it is to follow steadily the path of duty, without thinking of joy, and then, like sheep, it comes most surely unsought, and we “being in the way,” the angel of God, bright-haired joy, is sure to meet us.

Henri Nouwen

Joy is the experience of knowing that you are unconditionally loved and that nothing—sickness, failure, emotional distress, oppression, war, or even death—can take that love away.

Here and Now: Living in the Spirit, The Crossroad Publishing Company.

Henri Nouwen

We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. It is a choice based on the knowledge that we belong to God and have found in God our refuge and our safety and that nothing, not even death, can take God away from us.

Here and Now: Living in the Spirit, The Crossroad Publishing Company.

Moises Silva

Our rejoicing depends not on changing circumstances, but on the one who does not change.

Philippians, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament.

Rabindranath Tagore

I slept and dreamt that life was joy;

I woke and saw that life was service;

I acted, and behold, service was joy.

C.S. Lewis

All joy emphasizes our pilgrim status; always reminds, beckons, awakens desire. Our best havings are wantings.

Jay Bennett

Joy is a human condition which God Himself has designed for each of us. As we experience joy, we come to understand how it transcends the ups and downs of life on planet earth and offers peace and assurance in all circumstances. But, getting to a place of lasting joy is a journey which requires balancing being and doing.

Harold Thurman

Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

G.K. Chesterton

Joy, which was the small publicity of the pagan, is the gigantic secret of the Christian,” writes.

Orthodoxy, Simon & Brown, 163.

Augustine of Hippo

Without exception … all try their hardest to reach the same goal, that is, joy.

Confessions, Book X, Chapter 21.

Helen Keller

There is joy in self-forgetfulness…So I try to make the light in others’ eyes my sun, the music in others’ ears my symphony, the smile on others’ lips my happiness.

The Open Door

Richard Wilbur

Joy’s trick is to supply

Dry lips with what can cool and slake,

Leaving them dumbstruck

also with an ache

Nothing can satisfy.

Hamlen Brook

John Jay Hughes

The deepest source of Jesus’s joy . . . was his relationship with his heavenly Father. At every moment of his life, in every circumstance, Jesus knew that he was deeply loved by his Father—that he was, as we might say, the apple of his Father’s eye. Every day Jesus realized anew that wherever he might go that day, with whomever he spoke, in whatever situation he might find himself, he remained in his Father’s loving embrace.

That My Joy May Be in You,” Now You Know Media Blog, May 7, 2012.

Rebekah Lyons

Joy is not the absence of darkness. Joy is confidence that the darkness will lift.

You Are Free, Zondervan, 2017, p. 188.

Dallas Willard

A joyous God fills the universe. Joy is the ultimate word describing God and his world. Creation was an act of joy, of delight in the goodness of what was done. It is precisely because God is like this, and because we can know that he is like this: that a life of full contentment is possible.

Life Without Lack: Living in the Fullness of Psalm 23, Thomas Nelson, 2018, p.10.

Eugene Peterson

[Joy] is what comes to us when we are walking in the way of faith and obedience.

A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society, 2nd ed. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), 96.

Augustine of Hippo

There is something in humility which raiseth the heart upward.          

A.A. Milne 

“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best—” and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called.

“The House at Pooh Corner,” The World of Pooh (New York: Dutton, 2010), p.306–7.

J.I. Packer

Hearts on earth say in the course of a joyful experience, “I don’t want this ever to end.” But it invariably does. The hearts of those in heaven say, “I want this to go on forever.” And it will. There can be no better news than this.

John Piper

Who do you think has the deepest, most satisfying joy in life, the man who pays $140 (you may want to adjust for inflation!) for a fortieth-floor suite downtown and spends his evening in the half-lit, smoke-filled lounge impressing strange women with ten-dollar cocktails, or the man who chooses the Motel 6 by a vacant lot of sunflowers and spends his evening watching the sunset and writing a love letter to his wife?

Desiring God (Portland, Ore.: Multnomah, 1987), p.157.

Jared C. Wilson

Joy is the music that plays when our hearts are tuned to the frequency of God’s glory and our connection to it. Joy is the heart’s settled and worshipful contentment in our justification with God. Joy is the conviction that, no matter the sadness of our circumstances or the weakness of our bodies, we are secure in the sovereign God who loves us. Do you see how joy runs deeper than mere happiness? Happiness is dependent upon our circumstances. Joy is dependent upon our Savior.

The Gospel According to Satan: Eight Lies about God that Sound Like the Truth, Nelson Books, 2020.

Jared C. Wilson

God doesn’t “just” want you to be happy; he wants you to be holy as he is holy and to find true, lasting joy in him.

The Gospel According to Satan: Eight Lies about God that Sound Like the Truth, Nelson Books, 2020.

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