The fruit of the Spirit joy. Joy is one of those traits we all want to emulate but often rarely do. We are so impacted by our circumstances that choosing joy often isn’t even a forethought in our minds.
Here’s the biblical definition of joy:
Joy is a cheerful, calm delight and rejoicing in a particular circumstance.
When we are faced with difficult circumstances that we don’t enjoy our natural tendency is to think the worst. We think the worst of the people involved, we think the worst of the what-if outcomes and we often think the worst of ourselves.
However, if we are spirit-led we realize that God intends each circumstance to be for our good.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Once we realize this, our response changes to calm and delight in our less than enjoyable situation.
But like I said, our flesh often chooses the opposite of joy, frustration. Frustration is the rejection or unhappy refusal in the circumstances of life.
Satan leads us to express unhappy feelings toward or even reject these same unenjoyable circumstances.
We complain, get depressed and even get angry when these times come into our lives.
We are being led by our emotions instead of being Spirit-led. Our emotions are not reliable, are they? They often lead us astray. they often change from hour to hour, am I right?
Why then are we so dependent upon something that changes so wildly?
I love the book of Philippians, it is my favorite book of the Bible. It is all about joy! Paul encourages us to have joy in each and every circumstance life throws at us. Does it come naturally? No! Joy is a learned behavior! Paul had to learn it and so do we.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
Sometimes there are going to be things in our lives that cause us so much pain that we can’t help but cry buckets of tears. God gave us our emotions, so they aren’t a bad thing in and of themselves. It’s when we let them control our responses is when we’ve gone off track. We will react with emotion but we can channel our response. What about when your adult child has chosen what the world has to offer? Or when your parents keep refusing the gospel and you know their time here on earth is soon ending? Those are times where our hearts are so heavy that we can’t hold back the tears. How they do we have joy?
Psalm 126: 5-6 can shed some light on this:
They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
When you care for souls and are busy witnessing and doing things for Christ, you will receive joy from Him for your tears and effort. God sees our pain, He hears our cry and He will bless us for our faithfulness to Him. He will give you joy when you feel it’s impossible.
What brings the greatest joy? When we are walking in truth. It brings God joy, our family joy and even ourselves joy.
3 John 1:4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
John is referring to the church walking in truth and often times we like to claim this verse as mothers. If nothing would bring us more joy than to know that our children are walking in truth, how much more is the heavenly Father filled with joy when His children (us) are walking in truth?
So how do you get joy? How do you choose joy?
You walk in the truth. You let Him direct your path and trust Him completely. Remember that you won’t find joy in this present world (read 1 John chapter 2!). You deny your emotions when they want to control you and chose joy over frustration knowing that God has it all under His control.
Since I just love Young Living and the fact that they have an oil for everything (!!!) I thought it would be fun to give you an oil suggestion for each of the fruits of the Spirit. While we work towards changing our hearts to be aligned with God’s will and commands, there is an oil to help you move closer to that goal. Joy is an oil that will support you in experiencing more joy in your life, no matter the circumstance you’re in. Send me an email to get yourself a bottle!