Welcome back, and apologies for the lack of post, it’s been a while.
Today I want to talk about joy, the second part of the Fruit of the Spirit! Joy is one of those wonderful words that we hear within church, but I wonder if we actually stop to think what it means.
Okay, so firstly, what does the bible tell us about joy?
1 Thessalonians 5:16 – Rejoice Always
Psalm 118:24 – This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it
John 15:11 -These things I have spoken to you, My Joy may remain in you and that your joy may be full
And a church favourite…
Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord and again I say rejoice
So, Joy is something that is important. Otherwise we wouldn’t be told to rejoice, but there’s a couple of things I want to talk about. But firstly, I think the reason it has taken me so long to write this, is because I feel it’s been something that’s been so difficult for me to understand, at least recently. How you can have this joy, despite things going awful in life. Which brings me to my first point:
- Difference between happiness and joy
A friend of mine once told me that happiness is dependent on the happening’s of the present time. Rather than joy, which is constant. This means that joy, can be despite your circumstances. For me I’ve learnt that joy is a state of your mind and heart, rather than an emotion, and rejoicing is bringing that outwards in your actions. Times in life may happen, where it makes no sense for you to be happy, but we can still choose to rejoice despite them.
Now, I know it sounds super hard to get your head around. Believe me, it made no sense to me. But I was reminded of the Scripture John 16:33 Where Jesus was talking to His disciples and said ” I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace. In the world you have tribulation, and distress and suffering, but be courageous [be confident, undaunted, be filled with joy]; I have overcome the world”. [My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding]”. [AMP]
2. The presence of God doesn’t mean the absence of tribulations.
The thing is, Jesus is literally giving us a Spoiler alert, that in this world, unfortunately things won’t be good, there will be tribulations, there will be distress and suffering. Isn’t that one of the questions people ask the most? If God is real, then why is there suffering in the world? It’s a valid question, but at the same time Jesus has already overcome the World. He has more power than the sufferings. Therefore, we can have joy. Knowing that Victory belongs to Jesus. Knowing that things will be okay, despite how they look now. Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy comes in the morning!
The fruit of the Spirit being Joy, to me means that the more we spend time in His presence, the more we are allowing that seed of joy to grow, as Psalms tells us that in the presence of God there is fullness of joy. And it will keep growing until people start seeing it come out. Paul, wrote the book of Philippians, (the one where he’s telling us to Rejoice in the Lord, and again rejoice), whilst being in prison. The circumstances he was facing didn’t dictate that he was going to rejoice in God. Not in his surroundings, because there wasn’t much to rejoice there.
There’s something so special when the children of God spread a little bit of joy, daily to others. But even sharing a smile, even spreading love to someone, you’re implanting a bit of joy. Proverbs 17:22 “A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones”.
3. Have Joy in all times.
James 1:2 ” My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience”. I read this verse, and I thought, James…really? Count it joy, when I’m falling into trials. But I continued “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing”. There’s always the bigger picture, working for your good. Like I stated earlier, Joy comes in the morning! Let the Joy of the Lord be your strength in times when you don’t have any.
I wrote this, not to pretend like everything will always be okay. But to remind us that in His presence, your joy can be made new. You can lean on the joy of the lord to restore your strength, and allow that to grow in your heart. Knowing that, yes everything around me seems broken. Yes everything around me doesn’t seem great. However, I will keep joy in my heart. I will keep the good cheer, and a merry heart knowing that God has already overcome it all. I may not be able to see why now. I may not be able to see the purpose of all of this, but through faith, I will. I may be weeping now, but His word has told me, that joy come in the morning!
So today, Choose joy.
Have an amazing day.
God bless you
~ peace, joy & love x