The Gospel According to C.S. Lewis: Joy vs Happiness

Pastor Chris Seay continues our series drawing from scripture and the unique insight of theologian C.S. Lewis to discuss temporary happiness versus true Christian joy. We discover that true joy is not found in our current circumstances or what we do, but rather based on who we are.


Psalm 16:9-11 9

John 16:17-22

Psalm 30:5b

Philippians 2:1-4

Proverbs 8:27-31 27

It seems clear from this paragraph that the main mark of justified believers is joy. - John Stott

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket — safe, dark, motionless, airless — it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. -C.S. Lewis

These things – the beauty, the memory of our own past – are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never visited. -C.S. Lewis

Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased. -C.S. Lewis

The faint, far-off results of those energies which God’s creative rapture implanted in matter when He made the worlds are what we now call physical pleasures; and even thus filtered, they are too much for our present management. What would it be to taste at the fountainhead that stream of which even these lower reaches prove so intoxicating? Yet that, I believe, is what lies before us. The whole man is to drink joy from the fountain of joy. -C.S. Lewis


What's keeping you from experiencing true joy? Pray about moments where we can think less of "me" and more of others. We were created to not only receive Gods love but to also share that same love.

What are ways we are attempting to reach joy? We hear the world say that we earn joy: "if you perform well, then you will experience joy." May our hearts be reminded that God loves us for who we are and not for what we do. We celebrate and find life in what Jesus Christ did for us and not in what we can attempt to accomplish.

Let your final prayer be that above being challenged to focus on the long-term view of joy rather than the short term problems, may you remember and embrace the truth that real joy is found in basking in Gods love for us and in turn, sharing it with others.

Worship Set

Oh How I Need You (Find You)

Be Thou My Vision

It Is Well

Psalm 34 (Taste And See)

Just As I Am

Jesus Cares For Me