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True Deep Inner Joy
This article is about how to get true deep inner joy that lasts long. For Bible citations seen in this article, full verses are available at the bottom of this article.

Authentic joy will neither be built by prosperity nor be ruined by adversity. The only path to true happiness is to be saved from sin and subsequently be holy (Proverbs 29:18, John 14:28, John 15:10-11, Romans 14:17, Galatians 5:22, 1 Peter 3:14). To keep the commandment of God means to be holy (Romans 7:12-13). It is our whole duty to keep God's commandment (Ecclesiastes 12:13) so to do wrong is to waste the limited time in this life. Life is too short to sin. Sinning is wasting time. Human being is purposed to be holy so deviation from the purpose will bring regret. Total freedom comes from the ability to abstain from doing wrong. If a saved person does not have joy, something is wrong somewhere. Instead of praying that God will give joy to a person, pray that God will train the person to be holy or sanctified.

In our living environment there is very little chance to understand that true happiness comes from salvation and holiness. Even many saved people do not know that they can be happy through holiness. A course on happiness was offered by Harvard University, but teaching to believe in ourselves etc in the hope to get happiness. The world portrays that holiness is lack of happiness. Many people try to get happiness from purchases, movies, video games, addictive subtances and promiscuity. The current culture tries to make us admire people who are rich or promiscuious (Proverbs 23:17). Whining and gossiping, often with cuss word, are being done daily. Some product marketing exploits women by scanty clothing to stimulate shopping. Lust brings forth sin (James 1:15). A Chinese saying also states that lewdness is the first of all sins. Consumerism and materialism promote indecent clothing, causing people to have impure heart. Impure heart then leads to unhappiness in the long run. Unhappiness encourages shopping. Happiness is evasive in attempt to get it by buying things. Hedonic treadmill (tendency of humans to quickly return to indifference despite events) causes such happiness to last for short time only.

Joy

Success in life must not be measured by wealth or fame, but by holiness. Being holy also brings betterment of life. If we fear God by departing from unholiness (Job 1:1, Proverbs 3:7, Proverbs 16:6, 2 Corinthians 7:1), besides happiness, we will also get wisdom (Psalms 111:10, Proverbs 9:10) and lack nothing (Psalms 34:9). There will be peace of mind. A holy person is sought after due to his or her ethics, integrity and discipline. Nobody likes to deal with an unholy person. In the case of getting married, being holy can help screen out potential spouse (such as by no premarital intimacy), producing strong marriage. We do not have to drink something unhealthy, buy things, watch television, watch movies or play video games to be happy if we are holy because we will be happy already. By not engaging in activities that are not value-added, productivity is higher so more things can be accomplished in life. Clean life and mind bring no selective mutism (the fear to speak in specific situations or to specific people).

To be holy, conscious moral effort is needed because Holy Spirit can be quenched (Ephesians 4:30, 1 Thessalonians 5:19). Do not go ahead to do it knowing it is wrong. Behave like a noble person even when alone. Appreciate the motor skill (ability to control the body to move) by not doing wrong. Freedom and joy come from controlling the body to avoid doing evil. One is in bondage if he or she cannot take back that control. However we must not think that this is 100% personal effort or else we will fail. Instead put faith in God that He will help us to become holy. Do not do unholy conduct thinking to avoid some trouble or to earn for the thing we want. Do not whine (1 Corinthians 10:10) but be part of the solution or workaround. Nobody likes a whiner. Put trust in God that He will provide. Pray always so that we will think of God. Eliminate impure motive by examining our heart in the light of God. For example it is good to shape up but the motive must not be revealing it for public display. When a saved person comes to think of an unholy thing of his or hers, it is the prompting from Holy Spirit. Just follow Holy Spirit to get rid of that unholy thing (Galatians 5:16). If it is not done, the nudging continues. Repent. By following the Holy Spirit to be holy, we will be filled by Holy Spirit (Matthew 5:6, Matthew 5:8, Ephesians 5:17-18). Being filled by Holy Spirit brings joy (Galatians 5:22). Holy Spirit will prompt us on matters pertaining to holiness only, as the name implies, so just treat the prompting seriously. If we think highly of ourselves and personal glory (self-centred), misery comes. For example we can be easily offended if we are self-centred. If we pursue holiness and God's will (God-centred), joy comes. Always check whether what we do will glorify God or not. We are the followers of the Creator of the universe. God is our Lord, so when pursuing anything, always follow God's will (Matthew 7:21). Following God's will means following God's commandments in the Word of God. The motive of pursuing something in life must always be glorifying God. Saying He is our Lord also means whatever we do is in His name. If there is impure motive before performing certain action, stop. For example, when pursuing a spouse, check the person's character based on biblical principle, which reflects God's will. Do not be obssessed and owned by material possession. Let go the possession when necessary (Matthew 19:21) as those are not everlasting (Matthew 6:19). After all, this life is short and all personal pursuits, without considering God's will, will come to nothing. Once the personal pursuit is given up to submit to God's will, yet life is less difficult by itself (Daniel 4:36, Matthew 6:33). This is a process of sanctification.

On the contrary, there is no true joy in unholiness, but consequence that brings grief. God will discipline us (Hebrews 12:6). Sinning is worse than losing all the money and things that one has (Psalms 119:72, Matthew 18:8-9). Even there will be sorrow after one has sinned, for example being caught from lying. Most misery is self-inflicted. It is right to pursue happiness. However pursuing it without salvation and holiness yields little or temporal happiness, followed by emptiness or even agony. Sin brings temporary pleasure only (Hebrews 11:25). It is absurd to pass on the long-lasting joy for temporary pleasure. Like drug abuse, suffering will come later.

Even if we are holy in many things, be careful not to fall into thinking that we are more superior than others. It is not good to think so (James 4:6) and we will not get the joy. Holy Spirit is the cause of the holiness, not us. Not doing bad things is not merit, but bottomline or obligation. However, that does not mean we cannot admonish other people for unholy behaviour. Just do not be arrogant (Proverbs 8:13) or withdrawn. Instead, try influence them to be even better than us. Be friends with all, yet be vigilant, without following their unholy behaviour (Hebrews 12:14), instead admonishing them as a friend. But do not admonish others on the same sin that we ourselves are currently committing sin because that is hypocrisy (Matthew 7:5).

Test it out. By today, we can repent from all sins we are currently committing. Why wait? Without repentance, we will still have guilt after confessing sin, even our prayer is an abomination (Proverbs 28:9). Be ready for rapture (Matthew 24:42) by being holy.

Bible verses in this article:
Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job ; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
Psalms 34:9 O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him.
Psalms 111:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.
Psalms 119:72 The law of thy mouth is better unto me than thousands of gold and silver.
Proverbs 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.
Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.
Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.
Proverbs 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
Proverbs 23:17 Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the LORD all the day long.
Proverbs 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.
Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.
Daniel 4:36 At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me.
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Matthew 6:19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Matthew 7:5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 18:8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
Matthew 18:9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
John 14:28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.
John 15:10-11 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Romans 7:12-13 Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
1 Corinthians 10:10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
2 Corinthians 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Ephesians 5:17-18 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
1 Thessalonians 5:19 Quench not the Spirit.
Hebrews 11:25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
Hebrews 12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
1 Peter 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;
Posted: 2014-10-29; updated: 2015-12-22 by Ong Seng Aun.
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