HEARTS OF JOY: The first on the list of the fruit of the Spirit is love and the second is JOY. Hearts of love, that is the love given to us by faith in Christ Jesus, will also be hearts of joy. On one occasion Jesus prayed for us that we may have “The full measure of His Joy.” Someone has said, “When I think of God, my heart is so filled with joy.” When the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Philippi he encouraged them to be joyful and shared how he prayed for them, “In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.”
Dr Warren Wiersbe, in his book Be Joyful, shares four things that can rob us of our joy. One is circumstances: We have to admit that when things are “going our way” we feel a lot happier and we are easier to live with. The person whose happiness depends on ideal circumstances is going to be miserable much of the time. Second is people: All of us have lost our joy because of something someone has said or done to us. Is there a way to have joy in spite of people? Yes, Avoid being perpetually distracted by what people say or do. Third is things: Christ Jesus said, “A person’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” (Luke 12:15) Yet most people today think that joy comes from the things they own. In reality, things can rob us of the only kind of joy that really last. Forth is worry: Worry can bring on stress. In his book Mind Click, Dr Crosby list several things that can help prevent worry from becoming stressful. Here are three questions you can ask yourself. “Is this a catastrophe or am I over-reacting?” “Is this a critical high intensity emergency, or just an important task needing to be completed responsibly?” “Just how important is this in the big picture?”
Quotes about joy:
- “Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm . . .”
- “Find joy in everything that leads to God.”
- “The soul of one who serves God always swims in joy.”
- “The joy that comes from God is part of the Christian’s armor.”
- “Sin causes the cup of joy to spring a leak.”
How to expand joy year round:
- Pray daily that the Holy Spirit will bless you with joy.
- Select readings that emphasize Joyful aspects of your faith.
- Act joyfully, even if your mood is otherwise.
- Share joyful news, joy is contagious.
- Seek out joy-givers and absorb their joyful glow.