Fruit Of The Spirit: Joy

Joy sign

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 

After setting the base of love, Paul mentions joy as the second fruit of the Spirit. Joyo is something that people sing about during the Christmas season–Joy to the World. Yet, joy is something that appears to escape or evade many people.

Walking around and looking at the faces of people, very few show any signs of any type of joy in their lives. Often all that is seen is hurt, pain, suffering, and depression, anything but joy.

Suffering man

What is joy?

Often people will think of joy as happiness, but it is much more. Throughout the bible joy is often mentioned.

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing (joy) in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:7

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Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 1 Chronicles, 16: 32-34 

Psalm 16_11

There are also many other verses that talk about joy. Joy is found in heaven and on this earth. We are to be filled with joy.

So what is joy? It is more than just happiness, it is extreme happiness. It is happiness in spite of what is going on around you. Being filled with God’s joy is being filled with His extreme happiness and pleasure.

You may now be asking how can I be filled with joy when this world is filled with such hate, destruction, pain and suffering. My life is full of hurt and pain. I am struggling to survive, so where can I find joy in all of this?

Elephan struggling

Joy can be found in the Lord and in the salvation that He provides. Take a moment to look at and read 1 Peter 1. After talking about salvation, Peter says that in all this you greatly rejoice, even though you may be going through many trials.

Think about how exciting salvation is. All of your sins have been removed forever! You get to live forever! You have a day that is coming in which there will never be any more sorrow, pain, suffering, sickness or death! Jesus is preparing a place for you in heaven so that you may be with Him and the Father for all eternity!

Man with joy

All of these things are wrapped up in salvation, what Jesus did for you on the cross. And one of the greatest things is that this salvation is free. All you have to do is accept it, deny self and follow Jesus. What better news could you ever receive than this?

While the world has no hope and is seeing only death and destruction, you can see life beginning and spreading around the world. God is a God who brings life to people, not death. He wants all to be successful in Jesus and building His kingdom. This is a great joy to have.

Along with what God is providing for you, you can also see when God moves in the hearts of other people and they begin to follow Jesus. All of heaven is rejoicing over the new salvation. You can also rejoice with great joy.

Now as a believer and follower of Jesus, you are filled with God’s Holy Spirit. You have His Holy Spirit living in you and guiding you. If you have His Holy spirit living in you, then there should be some sign of His presence in your life. This is where the fruit of the Spirit comes in.

Cluster of grapes

You should be bearing fruit as to what is inside of you. Your life should be one that is bearing and showing love (self-sacrificing love) and joy. Do not be like many in the church walking around with a serious frown on their face and no joy in life at all.

Allow joy to overflow in your life so much that those around you cannot help but see it and get a taste of it in their own lives. Live in the positive mindset that God has saved you, given you a new life and He is in control. This will show joy to this world.

Thank you for stopping by and reading this. Next week I will be looking at the fruit of the Spirit–peace. Until then, may your life be filled with God’s love and joy.

Psalm 27:8 What To Seek

Hide and seek

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. Psalm 27:8 

People everywhere are always looking, seeking for something. Sometimes it is something that they had lost, but more often it is something that they do not have and want.

Every day billions of searches are made on Google of people seeking something. People are seeking ways to make more money, ways to be happier, ways to make life easier, ways to make one’s self look better, and many other searches.

It is commonly thought that ‘if I just have…’ or ‘if I just do…’ then one will be happy and life will be so much better. However, all those things that a person can have or do is temporary. There is only One that is eternal and never ending.

David’s own heart told him what he needed to search for. What he needed to search for was God’s face. David, then, chose to seek out God’s face.

Seeking God’s face is finding out who God is. It is finding out what God wants. It is wanting to see His face smiling because one is doing what he is supposed to be doing. It is pleasing God.

Many do not want to seek God’s face, because they fear rejection, condemnation, or a revealing of sin in their lives and hearts. They want to know God, but from a distance because they really do not want to change.

In order to get to know God, one must read His word daily and find out what it says about Him. The Bible reveals God’s character and love.

One must also take time to talk with God on a regular, daily basis. Open his ears to hear what God has to say. And then obey what one has read or heard.

You may be searching for something right now. It may be an object you need, but you may be also searching for something in this life for joy, happiness or peace. While the object will meet a temporary need, the real need is in the eternal.

True joy, happiness and peace comes only from God and knowing God. It is getting close enough to Him that you can see His face and hear His voice all the time.

Focus your time and efforts on seeking God and His face, and then take time to obey what He is showing you. In that you will find contentment and all of your real needs met.

Will you seek His face today?

I pray today that you will seek God’s face; that God will reveal Himself to you in new ways; that you will know God’s heart for you and others; and that you will know and obey what God wants of you. 

Psalm 5:11 Find Refuge And Be Glad

Joyful older woman

But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Psalm 5:11 

Being happy is something that most people want. They seek whatever they can to find happiness so that they may be glad.

The challenge that comes in is that what most people find to make them glad is only temporary. Things can make them glad for a short amount of time, then they get bored with it or it goes away, and so they must find something new again.

Watching people in the workplace or even the public places, there are very few that show any joy in their faces. Life is rough and there is not much that seems to be worth the troubles that this world gives.

David had found the way to be glad and sing for joy, despite what is happening. His prayer was that every person who takes refuge in God would be glad and sing for joy. They would know His protection so that they can rejoice in Him.

Taking refuge in God is trusting in Him. It is going to God for everything. It is knowing that God is in control, despite what is going on.

The great thing about God is that He is not temporary, He is eternal. God will never leave a person. He can be trusted forever. This gives a person a reason to be glad and sing for joy.

The things of this world are temporary and they break down, fall apart, die, fade away, but God does not. This gives every believer great joy in knowing that God is there and will always be there. However, in order to know this joy, one must take refuge in God.

If you are seeking to find happiness in order to be glad and want to sing for joy, take refuge in God. Trust in His abilities and His direction for your life. This is not a temporary thing that will come and go, but He will be there for all eternity.

God will not leave you during the tough times, as the world will do. This can give you a reason to sing for joy, knowing you have God at your side at all times. Hold on to Him through everything and it will be worth it all in the end.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will know the joy in following God; that you will find refuge in God; that you will be glad in God being by your side; and that you will know God’s protection in your life. 

Job 36:13 Be Careful Of Riches & Wealth

Yacht

Be careful that no one entices you by riches; do not let a bribe turn you aside. Job 36:13 

Wealth is something that a lot of people are searching for, especially in America. People want more money to be able to have more things and do more things. It is often believed that money buys happiness and freedom, so many people will run after it.

All one has to do is do a ‘make money’ search on the internet and millions of hits will occur instantly. There are millions of ways to make money. However, most of those ways are scams. People trying to make money by taking money from others. People fall for the scam in the search for wealth.

Elihu tells Job to be careful not to be enticed by riches or bribes. This was as though Job was being enticed to speak as he does. Job did not have this problem in his life.

Having lots of money always seems to look like a good thing. Making money easy always sounds like a good thing. However, money is not made easily, but by hard work and perseverance.

While money will buy things, it does not provide happiness and peace. Often it will lead a person away from God, because he no longer trusts in God, but in his possessions. The search for wealth will also often lead a person to do things that go against God.

This can occur even within side the church. Believers give up giving and tithing in the search for wealth. They quit going to church to be able to work more, rather than seeking God and trusting Him. Some get angry with God as they see those in the world ‘living it up’ while living in sin, and they a fighting to put food on the table.

Do not allow yourself to seek after a wealth that does not last for eternity. You cannot take the wealth with you when you die. It does not transfer to heaven. Seek God and His righteousness and will. Do what He desires and you will have joy and peace that the world cannot have, nor understand.

Running after the wealth of this world will only leave you empty and wanting more. No matter how much you get, you will want more. Do not let this world convince you that you need what they have. You need to convince the world that they need what you have–Jesus.

I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that God will guard your hearts from the love of money; that God will guide you in what you need; and that God will protect you from the lies of this world. 

Proverbs 3:1 A Time For Everything

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: Proverbs 3:1

People hear this statement that there is a time for everything, but most do not want to believe or accept all of those times. Solomon continues on with listing many different things that there is a time for. Some of these are: to be born, to plant, to heal, to laugh, and to dance. People like these things and want more of them. These are the good times in a person’s life.

The other side of his statements, however, state that there is also a time: to die, to uproot, to tear down, to weep, to mourn, and to be silent. These are the ‘negative’ times in a person’s life. These are the times that very few people look forward too. Yet, God has ordered them in each person’s life.

It is easy to look at the good times of blessings from God and enjoy them. Everyone wants to be happy and have life go smoothly.

Yet, there are supposed to be times that are not so pleasant. Jesus said that unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies it will only be a single seed. Things have to happen to make things grow larger.

Take a look at the book of Acts. Until the persecution of all believers started to rise, the gospel message did not spread very far. It stayed among the Jews in a very small area. Once persecution set it, many people scattered and spread the message. The process was not fun, nor easy, but it brought about new life in the end.

When you live your life based on times of being happy, you will be disappointed and you will miss out on many other blessings in this life. It is in the difficult and painful times in life, that God can show up and do miraculous things. It is in those same times that God can move you to a new location in life to do great things through you and for you.

God is the one who is in control of everything. He has a time for every event that occurs in your life.

Are you trusting God in all the seasons of your life?

I pray today that you will know God’s plans for your life; that you will know God is in control; and that you will know God’s purpose for events in your life.