Friday, July 5, 2013


Nehimiah 8:10 "...for the joy of the Lord is your strength"

I remember singing a little chorus; I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart. Watching many Christians today, though, makes me wonder why there seems to be so little joy among God’s people? We seem to have everything figured out except how to be joyful. Joy is a fruit of the Spirit. It’s something that should be developing in each of us, as believers.

You know you haven't got the joy when you are constantly complaining. You know you haven't go the joy when you often withdraw from spiritual life or even life in general. You know you haven't got the joy when you are angry a good portion of the time. You know you haven't got the joy when you sense a constant frustration in your life. You know you haven't got the joy when you are seldom grateful.

If the joy is missing from your life it could be due to a number of reasons. For example, perhaps you haven't got the joy because you lost it to your own self-centeredness. Self-centeredness is incredibly common – even among Christians. Self-centeredness is the enemy of joy.

Maybe you lack joy because you are focused on circumstances. Biblical joy is unrelated to circumstances. Paul, the apostle, is proof of that. You see, a focus on circumstances limits your joy to when times are good. The reality is, even when times are bad, when you are going through a trial or a valley you can still have the joy of the Lord.

Christians are some of the most negative people I know. This negativity can zap the joy in your life. I'm not sure why so many Christians are so negative. After all, the child of God always has reason to be positive. Think about it, we've been forgiven! Our sins are gone! Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us. He sits at the right hand of God ever making intercession for us. I could go on and on.

Sometimes its a spirit of rebellion that takes our joy away. A rebellious Christian is never a happy Christian. To the Christian, rebellion is the rejection of God's rule.

Disobedience to God will certainly impact the joy of the Lord in our lives. Obedience is the pathway to joy. A disobedient spirit is always joyless.

Perhaps you are substituting other things for the genuine joy you are looking for. Things such as happiness, mindlessness, activity, acquiring things, even relationships. While these things, in and of themselves, are not bad, they are no substitute for the joy of the Lord.

Jesus tells us how to obtain this joy in John 15. He said in John 15:11, These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. So if you really want joy, it comes from God’s pruning (Vs 2), living a godly life (Vs 3), abiding in Jesus (Vs 4, 6, 7), exposure to Scripture (Vs 3), answers to prayer (Vs 7), a sense of God’s love (Vs 9), basic obedience (Vs 10), real fruit bearing (Vs 8). Joy is developed as we grasp the things recorded in John 15. As His joy remains in us, our joy will be full.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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