Week #2: The Nature of True Joy
(Seven Questions HMC study for the week of 8th – 14th May 2017)
FOCUS PASSAGES: Isaiah 55:1-13 and James 1:3-5
- Read Isaiah 55:1-13 and James 1:3-5. What are your immediate thoughts/observations about these passages?
- The Dalai Lama tells the story of his life, exile from his homeland and people – it’s a story of pain and suffering. Before Desmond Tutu responds with his life-story, Tutu asks a question of the Dalai Lama – Why are you not morose? It’s an interesting question. Review your life – how has periods of trial and struggle formed your world view? Have these experiences shaped your response to life in general?
- Discuss your thoughts on the statement: “Joy subsumes (meaning: to place within something bigger) Joy is the greater thing.”
- Joy is something that comes from within – it’s more than happiness that is often a fleeting response to an experience. Joy is longer lasting. The Dalai Lama makes the point that Joy can evoke a wide range of feelings from rejoicing in someone else’s happiness, delight or contentment to spiritual radiance (a serene joy born from deep well-being and benevolence). Looking at our Bible passages how can we relate these sentiments to our faith as Christians?
- Read James 1:3-5 again. How have you been able to maintain Joy (a fruit of the Spirit) in the face any difficult circumstances you may be facing right now.
- Given your response in question 5 – how can looking beyond oneself and being generous (not just in resources) towards others, be a way to discover your own inner Joy and deepen your faith?
- We are all wired to be compassionate. What do you think of this statement: “Compassion is a feature of strength, not a weakness.” How will this shape your response to a world that needs Joy that comes from God?
PRAYER TOPIC: Light a candle as a symbol of Christ’s presence in your midst.
We continue to pray for the Nation. Pray for those in your group who have expressed personal stories in relation to Joy. Pray for those struggling to enjoy basic needs of food, shelter, security and comfort. Pray for leaders in church, community, business and government around the world.