I have long appreciated the theological thought of Sproul; however, it was the book’s title that caught my attention. This question, posed in one form or another, has flashed across the hearts of every man I know at one point or another in life. I am not an exception. I picked up the book hoping to find the answer, and I did. The answer is “yes.” Sproul points out what I already knew: The joy of a Christian is found in God. In fact, true and lasting joy is found only in God. There you have it, a full and complete summary of the book. The rest of the content is Biblical references to support this answer.
The problem is that I was not actually looking for an answer to the question. I was looking for a plan to get there. For that purpose, this short book falls tremendously short; or does it? If true joy is found only in God, then I suppose it stands to reason that it cannot be found within a book. Perhaps I should stop seeking joy and turn my focus toward relationship. Maybe it is true that simply walking in step with God will produce an unintended, sweet joy.
The leads to my next quandary, how does one walk in step with God? The journey continues.
A few quotes that I highlighted during my reading are:
- Unhappiness and a lack of joy are, in a certain way, manifestations of the flesh.
- Christian life is not to be marked by dourness or a miserable attitude.
- Paul’s admonition to believers to be joyful presupposes that believers can do something if they find themselves lacking in joy… the New Testament is filled with teaching on how to be joyful. The most basic method is to focus our attention on the ground of our joy, the source of our joy.
- “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8) This is a call to meditate upon the things of the Lord, to turn our attention to the things of God.
- The life of faith is not just about believing that God exists; it is about believing God or trusting God.
- ego eimi – “I… I am.”