#1 Listen to "#FINDINGJOY: Good Work."
Consider this Sunday morning’s lesson. You can listen here: http://bit.ly/1gCDfNL
Or watch here [video will be posted by Monday each week]:
What stuck out to you as interesting?
Did you encounter any challenging or re-orienting truth?
How’d it make you feel?
#2 Defining Our Terms
On Sunday we defined JOY as, "The stubborn delight of the spiritually full."
- Summarize that in your own words. What does it mean?
Justin said Joy's "not going anywhere. And it doesn’t come from just anywhere."
Where do we find joy?
How do we ensure that it sticks around?
Think of someone you would describe as full of joy. What does joy look like in that person? Describe a moment when you were startled by their joy.
Have you ever been personally surprised by the power of joy?
We said on Sunday, "When we invest in God’s glory rather than our own, we find joy."
- Have you experienced this to be true? Share a time when you stumbled into joy in your efforts to serve God.
- What do you want to do more of in an effort to increase your joy? Be specific.
Where do you struggle to find joy? Make a list of the joy-short places in your life. How can you more purposefully seek to glorify God in those arenas?
- What does it look like to do the dishes to the glory of God? Or to run errands? Or to fire an ineffective employee? Offer practical suggestions for infusing everyday work with kingdom purpose.
#4 A Wise Man Once Said...
Consider the following Proverbs. What brings joy?
- The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked come to nothing. (Proverbs 10:28)
- A person finds joy in giving an apt reply— and how good is a timely word! (Proverbs 15:23)
- When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers. (Proverbs 21:15)
- The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him. (Proverbs 23:24)
- Evildoers are snared by their own sin, but the righteous shout for joy and are glad. (Proverbs 29:6)
#5 WATCH THIS
Watch this video and see what you think. What do circumstances have to do with happiness? (If you watch this together, DON'T MISS the thoughts we've shared below.)
In this talk, Gilbert cites two remarkable cases of happiness, Sir Thomas Browne and Harry S. Langerman.
Browne says, ”I am the happiest man alive. I have that in me that can convert poverty to riches, adversity to prosperity. I am more invulnerable than Achilles; fortune hath not one place to hit me."
Langerman said of his decades in prison following a false accusation, "It was a glorious experience."
Interestingly, Gilbert omits the context for these words. Browne includes his words in an essay on the topic of salvation and squarely attributes his joy to Christ’s work in his life. Langerman meets God during his time in prison and becomes an ordained Methodist minister.
Considering this, what do you think about Gilbert's thoughts on "synthetic happiness"?
What would you tell Gilbert about joy?
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Music... will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.”
If you want to know what joyful people do, brace yourself: They sing. We encourage you and your small group to sing a song every week of this series. Pick an old favorite or a new one off the radio. Whatever tickles your fancy.
Here's a link to one you might sing along to if singing all by your lonesomes seems daunting: