It's been a while since I've talked about JOY here on the blog. Some of you may remember back in October of 2014, I actually wrote about JOY for 31 days as part of the #write31days challenge. What an amazing time that was! It's worth going back to have a look!
Who knew there was so much to say about this little 3-letter word! As it turns out, there is more to say and these truths are more relevant today than ever before.
|The harvest of the Spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, fidelity, gentleness, and self-control.|
As most of you know JOY is not the same thing as happiness. The word happiness comes from the Latin "hap" meaning chance or temporary pleasures. Whereas JOY is not tied to a sense of wellbeing. Rather it is a spiritual response to receiving the Gospel.
JOY is based upon an objective reality, not subjective emotions.
Non-believers can and do experience JOY. When their values are in harmony with their behavior a sense of JOY is experienced. But true, Christian JOY, at its heart, is the JOY of salvation. The power of the Holy Spirit invades and transforms us and we experience true and lasting JOY.
The process of transformation often looks something like this:
GUILT - Guilt is something that is taboo in our world today. We don't talk about it, and we sure don't ever admit it! But the truth is, we are all in the same condition. Sin is our condition, the state of our souls. And it's terminal. Part of the misery is not acknowledging this truth.
GRACE - Grace is the answer to guilt. We receive all of God's riches at Christ's expense. God's love has no regard for our merits.
GRATITUDE - Gratitude is the only right response to grace.
JOY - Joy is the child birthed in the fullness of gratitude.
There are three things that hinder true JOY:
Foolishness - Being half-hearted creatures as described by C.S. Lewis in the following quote from The Weight of Glory:
“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.”Forgetfulness - Just like the Israelites in the desert, we forget God's great acts of deliverance. We forget His benefits and promises.
All of this leads to Faintheartedness - we begin to listen to the evil one.
Don't allow these things to cause you to stumble.
You were running well; who hindered you from following the truth? Gal 5:7Preach the Gospel to yourself daily. Work out your salvation. Remember that gratitude and thankfulness give birth to JOY.
The JOY of a believer is one of the most effective tools to disarm the devil.
The world is dark.
JOY is Light.
The Light has overcome.
Be an overcomer!
Sharing inspiration here:
Small Wonders, Testimony Tuesday, #TellHisStory,
Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth,
Inspire Me Monday, RaRa Link Up, Intentional Tuesday,
#WordswithWinter, Titus 2 Tuesday, Thoughtful Thursdays,
Encourage Me Monday, Wholehearted Wednesday,
Women with Intention Wednesdays, Word Filled Wednesday,
#GiveMeGrace, Sitting Among Friends, #Glimpsesofhisbeauty