The joyless Christian reveals himself by having negative thoughts and talk about others, in a lack of concern for others welfare, and a failure to intercede on others behalf. Joyless believers are self-centered, selfish, proud, and often vengeful and their self-centeredness inevitably manifests itself in prayerlessness.
The Christian is a [person] of joy... A gloomy Christian is a contradiction of terms, and nothing in all religious history has done Christianity more harm than its connection with black clothes and long faces.
John, v. 2.
God threatens terrible things if we will not be happy.
The best Christian has not always a joyous day. Our sins make sorrows needful – our lack of watchfulness may bring disquietude and doubt, and, instead of “rejoicing in the Lord,” our hearts may be filled with despondency and gloom. Christian! if you have not this joy “abiding” in you now, you have cause for alarm; for, be assured, it is suspended, not from any lack of love on the part of your Savior, nor from any forgetfulness of you by the Holy Spirit, but, because you yourself have become less watchful, in guarding the citadel of the heart.
The Throne of Grace, Alexander Strahan Publishers, 1865.
When the heart is full of joy, it always allows its joy to escape. It is like the fountain in the marketplace; whenever it is full it runs away in streams, and so soon as it ceases to overflow, you may be quite sure that it has ceased to be full. The only full heart is the overflowing heart.
The Sympathy of the Two Worlds, Sermon, Luke 15:10.
A pivotal Christian thinker of our time once said, “Joy is the surest sign of the presence of God... The bottom line for you and me is simply this: grimness is not a Christian virtue. There are no sad saints. If God really is the center of one's life and being, joy is inevitable. If we have no joy, we have missed the heart of the Good News and our bodies as much as our souls will suffer the consequences.”
There's a Lot More to Health Than Not Being Sick.
The glum, sour faces of many Christians… They rather give the impression that, instead of coming from the Father's joyful banquet, they have just come from the Sheriff who has auctioned off their sins and now are sorry they can't get them back again.
Leadership, v. 1, n. 4.
If you have no joy, there's a leak in your Christianity somewhere.
The religion that makes a man look sick certainly won’t cure the world!
God is particularly interested in our joy. He tells us, “Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!” (Psalm 32:11). When the church gathers, the sense of confident joy in God should be pronounced. When we fail to demonstrate delight and satisfaction in God, we’re not only dishonoring God, we’re disobeying Him. More than anyone else on earth, Christians have a reason to celebrate.
Worship Matters, Crossway Books, 2008, p. 167.
An unthankful and complaining spirit is an abiding sin against God, and a cause of almost continual unhappiness; and yet how common such a spirit is. How prone we seem to be to forget the good that life knows, and remember and brood over its evil – to forget its joys, and think only of its sorrows – to forget thankfulness, and remember only to complain.
If Christians do not rejoice, it is not because they are Christians, but because they are not Christian enough. Joy is the rational state of the Christian in view of his spiritual position in Christ.
Derek Prime and Alistair Begg
On Being a Pastor, Moody Press, 2004, p. 52.
You must be made miserable before you can know true Christian joy. Indeed the real trouble with the miserable Christian is that he has never been truly made miserable because of conviction of sin. He has by-passed the essential preliminary to joy, he has been assuming something that he has no right to assume.
Spiritual Depression – Its Causes and its Cures, 1965, p. 28, Used by Permission from Elizabeth Catherwood (daughter).
No one is really happy merely because he has what he wants, but only if he wants things he ought to want.