Mountain View - Real Joy By Paula Friedrichsen

Writer Author  Church On The Mountain
Christian Column : Joy  - Fiction  No

Christian Author Writer While I was at the beauty shop a few months back I picked up a one of those cheesy Hollywood magazines to pass the time. Did you know that Cameron Diaz works out one and a half hours every day! The article was accompanied by an expansive layout of pictures showing Cameron coming out of an L.A. fitness center looking cute, tanned, and happy. Tall and beautiful she strides toward her luxury car with the world by the tail. As I looked at the pictures of her pretty face, sparkling with an adorable dimpled smile, I could see “joyfulness” conveyed on her countenance. And why not? She’s enjoying her good health and her good looks, not to mention her millions.

And yet, I know from God’s word that lasting joy comes from knowing Christ, not from good looks or money. So what is this joy on Cameron’s lovely face? I believe it’s the temporary happiness brought on by temporary circumstances. For instance, if Cameron put on sixty-five pounds, would she still stride confidently and happily across the fitness center parking lot full of pep and joy? Maybe, but I don’t think so (just think back to the “fat” photos of Kirstie Alley—no strutting going on there).

Temporal joy is the feeling of security that comes from having plenty of money, or social status, or a nice home, or a strong body and a pretty face, or a great education, or an esteemed profession, or a successful ministry. All of these things are good things—but when they become the primary source of our happiness—there’s a problem brewing.

Temporary joy is quickly toppled when confronted with adversity. In the crucible of suffering and trials this type of joy is burned off the top in a moment. It isn’t solid or valuable or lasting. Nor is it able to offer protection or courage in the face of illness, economic recession, war, or crime. It relies upon temporal circumstances for peace and comfort—as if they were solid and able to support—instead of upon God Almighty. But nothing is solid in this life except our relationship with the Lord and His timeless word.

I’m always shocked at how quickly the joy can drain right out of me. I tend to think I’m stronger and more stable than I really am. In good times I feel sure that my faith is rock solid and nothing will ever shake it—only to face some kind of trial and find myself wavering. And in all reality, my faith has grown stronger through the years… But I’m by no means unshakeable. Some days I feel like I’m in the spin cycle in my Whirlpool. When I was younger I used to think that the closer I got to the Lord, and the more I delved into my relationship with Him, the less trouble I would face along the way.


My almost fifty years of living have taught me that in this life we will all face troubles. Repeatedly. Nobody has it together to the point where their life is trouble-free. Life = Trouble. But life also equals JOY. And real joy is found in a tangible, authentic, vibrant, living relationship with Jesus! It’s like a secret spring in your own backyard. Every morning you have the opportunity to steal away with the Lord and dip into the life-giving waters of joyful refreshment to fortify you for the day ahead. We don’t know what potential trouble each day holds—but God does. And every morning He’ll supply us with the needed ingredients to live out that day successfully and joyfully. He supplies joy for us to sing even on the hardest of days… joy to face trials with courage and a smile… and joy to share His love with others even when we’ve just dried our own tears.

Editor's Comment: Paula Friedrichsen is a member of Church on the Mountain, a vibrant community of believers in Crowley Lake. We meet at 9:30 Sunday mornings. Call for more information: 935-4272 or

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Country: United States
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