Monday, July 25, 2016

Unlimited Joy

What comes to mind when you hear the word joy? The dictionary defines joy as the emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something exceptionally good or satisfying; keen pleasure; elation. The Greek word translated joy is defined as a state of mind and an orientation of the heart that is a settled state of contentment, confidence and hope. This differs from what most people think about when he/she hears the word joy. To have biblical JOY means that you have such a confidence and hope as a result of your relationship with Jesus that you experience contentment no matter what your circumstance. Thus Paul was able to maintain his joy in prison.  He wrote in
Philippians 4:11-12 “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound.”  Most of the Psalms were written by King David long before Jesus walked on this earth, yet he claims joy. What on earth could be the source of King David’s joy as he was targeted to be killed? David believed in God and he marveled at all of creation. Today, just like King David, Christians face many hardships, however,  because we know that this life is temporary, we rely on the HOPE that God has given us!  The anchor of confident HOPE for our soul is that our future is with Him eternally in heaven.  Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. Yet even this reluctant man experienced great joy. What gave Jeremiah joy was the word of God. When we struggle to
embrace our reality, God has given us His Word so that we can tap into the ever present joy ‘in’ the Lord.  Your words were found, and I ate them; and Your words were to me a joy and the rejoicing of my heart, for I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.” Jeremiah 15:16 -- The Source of our joy as a Christian comes from the love of Jesus Christ.  By His grace we are enabled to keep our thoughts and actions in alignment with His Word and His joy is made complete in us!  WOW!  –“  I have loved you, just as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love, continue in His love with Me.  If you keep My commandments; if you continue to obey My instructions,
you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love.  I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing.” John 15:9-11 AMP --- Is it easy to lose our joy when we fill our ears with world news? What happens to our level of joy when we fail to take time for a relationship with God?  Does a Christian’s ability to praise God in every situation become weak if they choose to disobey God?   A joyful heart helps healing,   but a broken spirit dries up the bones. “ Proverbs 17:22 CEB --  King Solomon wrote most of the Proverbs. Humbly Solomon asked God for wisdom and God granted him extraordinary knowledge that we get to read, memorize and lodge in our hearts.  Abiding in His word, we find this remarkable wisdom!  That a joyful heart is good for us physically, emotionally and spiritually!  How can a person be joyous in the midst of a trial like Cancer, or losing a loved one? “Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith, through experience, produces
endurance which leads to spiritual maturity, and inner peace.  And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed in your faith, lacking in nothing…” James 1:2-4 AMP – Many mothers sow with tears as they pray for their children.  As a mother, when I talk about the current spiritual state of my children, I shed tears because I am an emotional being. Those tears don’t mean I’ve given up on God redeeming my boys. It means that when I talk to God or other Christians about them, I am sowing tears of hope. “They who sow in tears shall reap with joyful singing.
Psalm 126:5 --- When we grieve, it is entirely possible to experience joy in the process. “You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will be turned into joy.” John 16:20 AMP -- Unbelievers grieve differently because they do not have the HOPE we cling to.   How does Christian grief differ from worldly grief? Barbara Hoyle chronicles her journey with God and whatever spiritual insights God impressed upon her on a post entitled "Good Grief" within this blog.  Her son suddenly died in April of 2016 and Barb  wrote a very insightful article on how she found joy in the midst of her grief over the loss of Jason. “Now we do not want you to be uninformed, believers, about those who are asleep in death, so that you will not grieve for them as the others do who have no hope beyond this present life.” 1 Thessalonians
4:13 -- What should you do when you find joy is missing from your life? Don’t let Satan lie to you like I did when I first found out my sons were straying from their Christian upbringing. He told me that if I couldn’t get my sons to love God, I had no business teaching the Bible or leading in worship through singing. --A teaching by Andi Cook on the Fruit of the Spirit. Andi is a pastors daughter, a wife of a pastor, and a loving mother of three sons.  Andi also graduated from seminary and she has published several books on WATTPAD. Andi is gifted by God to write and you will be blessed by reading her books. COMING SOON is the Fruit of Peace. 

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