Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Fruit of The Spirit - Joy

Read: Galatians 5:22-24, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, Romans 12:12, Romans 16:25, Nehemiah 8:10, Acts 2:46, 13:52, 1 Peter 1:8, Luke 2:10, Luke 1:47, Luke 1:44, John 15:11

When it comes to joy, there will be times when you are filled with joy and hope and then there will be times when you’re not. It's pretty much a guarantee in life that we'll experience both ends of the "joy spectrum". 

As you crack open God’s Word we see that He says a lot about Joy! 

In fact, depending on the specific translation, it refers to the words Joy or Rejoice (where we get our word for Joy) over 300 different times!

God’s Word teaches us a lot about joy in part because He created us to live in a joyful relationship with Him and He wants us to experience the true joy that is found in Him!

You may be asking, What's the difference between Joy and Happiness? 

Let's take a brief look at the difference as well as some of the things that can increase or decrease joy.

Joy: True Joy is based on your relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s dependent on Him!

Joy is truly Eternal...

Joy Comes Comes through a growing and abiding faith in Christ...

Joy is part of what helps strengthen us because it comes from Him...

It’s what we see and commanded to do in passages such as James 1:2-4...

True joy makes no sense to those who don’t possess it because they are viewing it from a different foundation. 

Happiness:  Happiness on the other hand is dependent on things outside of ourselves. 

Happiness is temporal...

Happiness is often based on momentary experiences...

Happiness is based on circumstances and people. 

For example, if someone hurts your feelings…you won’t be happy but you can still experience joy in that circumstance because you know that the Lord will never mistreat you or let you down! 

At the end of the day, happiness is built on a shifting foundation.

As you can see, there is a real difference between Joy and Happiness and this is just a small list of the differences! 

After reading the scriptures and knowing a little more about joy, you can probably reflect on your own life and see that there are many things that can either decrease or increase our joy such as: 

What are some of the things that decreases our joy? 

  1. Comparison living: As they say (and it's true) comparison living is the thief of Joy. 
  2. Sin: You cannot fully abide in Him if you’re in stepping into sin. I share this because sin clouds your heart, mind and soul and get’s in the way of the Holy Spirit’s work in your life. 
  3. Identity & Worth: Finding your identity and worth in temporal things including people instead of in Christ your Savior. 
  4. Foundation Issues: Trying to build a foundation for your life on changing or temporal things rather than on the chief corner stone, Jesus Who is your firm foundation. 

What are some of the things that can increase your joy?

  1. Abiding In Christ.
  2. Asking the Holy Spirit for help.
  3. Finding your identity and worth in Jesus Christ!
  4. Choose to see God’s blessings in everyday things!
  5. Being the hands and feet of Jesus. 
  6. Choose Joy Moment by matter the circumstances you're facing.
  7. Praising God through every storm.
  8. Actively pursuing it! 

It’s God that brings you Joy when you’re having a horrible day or going through a terrible circumstance…regardless of the feelings that come and go in your life!

His Joy and Love penetrates the darkest of circumstances and can pierce the hardest of hearts! 

So, pursue it, seek true joy in Him and allow His Holy Spirit to help you live out and bear the Fruit of Joy. 

Questions to get started with:
1. What does Joy really mean?
2. What does God's Word have to say and teach me about Joy? 
3. Who is my true source of Joy?
4. What can I do to increase Joy in my life and in the life of others?

In Christ Alone,


P.S. For your music enjoyment, Check out this great song by Rend Collective "Joy of The Lord" 

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