Daily Riches: Elusive Joy (James Martin, Donald Salier, Henri Nouwen and Peter Kreeft)

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.” Ernest Hemingway
“Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination.”  Mark Twain

“Joy is what makes life worth living, but for many joy seems hard to find. …Strange as it may sound, we can choose joy. Two people can be part of the same event…. One may choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise. The other may choose despair and be destroyed by it.” Henri NoJoyuwen

“Joy is not simply a fleeting feeling or an evanescent emotion; it is a deep-seated result of one’s connection to God. …Joy has an object and that object is God. …Joy is a fundamental disposition toward God … [having] ability to exist even in the midst of suffering, because joy has less to do with emotion and more to do with belief. It does not ignore pain in the world, in another’s life, or in one’s own life…. Rather, it goes deeper seeing confidence in God–and for Christians, in Jesus Christ–as the reason for joy and a constant source of joy.” James Martin and Donald Salier

“He came. He entered space and time and suffering. He came, like a lover. Love seeks above all intimacy, presence, togetherness. Not happiness. ‘Better unhappy with her than happy without her’–that is the word of a lover. He came. That is the salient fact, the towering truth…. He came. Job is satisfied even though the God who came gave him absolutely no answers at all to his thousand tortured questions. He did the most important thing and he gave the most important gift: himself. It is a lover’s gift. Out of our tears, our waiting, our darkness, our agonized aloneness, out of our weeping and wondering, out of our cry …he came, all the way, right into that cry.” Peter Kreeft

“consider it all joy”  James 1:2

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Can you “choose to trust that what happened, painful as it may be, holds a promise?”
  • What might happen, if in spite of the world’s pain, you adopt a “fundamental disposition” of confidence in God?
  • What might happen, if in spite of your “thousand tortured questions” you experience the gift of God’s presence?

Abba, may our connection lead to fullness of joy in me.

For More: Between Heaven and Mirth by James Martin


These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek after God and he seeks after you. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it. My goal is to share something of unique value with you daily in 400 words or less. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”

4 thoughts on “Daily Riches: Elusive Joy (James Martin, Donald Salier, Henri Nouwen and Peter Kreeft)

  1. Our Pastor defines Joy as the deep settled confidence that God is in the very details of your life. Can’t remember where He quotes it from, but I know it’s a great nugget of truth to carry with you every day everywhere!


    • Hi Skip, thanks. That’s a powerful, practical way to remember it. I’m glad you’re reading and good to hear from you. I will be thinking of you tonight when we go out. I wish you weren’t so far away, but I’m glad we can keep in touch.


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