Fruit of Life – Joy || Marissa Dodgen

Joy.

It is an odd topic to look into because there isn’t much in Scripture on how to accomplish joy or be joyful. It seems to be based more on when we need joy. But what is joy? If you look up “joy” in the Lexham Bible Dictionary it says joy is “closely related to gladness/happiness, although joy is more a state of being than an emotion; a result of choice.”

So joy isn’t happiness but it is like happiness. It is a choice, not an emotion. So that would mean it is something that we don’t come in & out of, like a mood. Rather, joy is more present, whereas emotion changes constantly based on circumstances surrounding it.

Look up James 1:2-4. What does he tell us about having joy?

So, are we supposed to be happy when we are put through the wringer? Remember what the definition of joy said just a few sentences back: joy is related to happiness, but more a state of being. We have the choice to be happy, but circumstances in life cause the emotion of happiness to turn into the emotion of sadness or anger or frustration. Emotion is an ever-changing thing, but joy is – or can be – more present. When you hear someone say, “she’s such a happy person,” a more accurate description would be, “she is such a joyful person.” Joy is deeper than our emotions. It is emotion on a soul level.

Turn over to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. These verses don’t blatantly cry out joy, but they do point to a joyful spirit. What 3 ways can you develop or strengthen a joyful spirit according to these verses?

In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul is talking about the church in Macedonia. What does he say about them in verse 2?

There are a bunch of words that you don’t typically see used together, especially not in our culture today– overflowing joy, extreme poverty, rich generosity. Read the passage from the NLT:

1 Now I want you to know, dear brothers and sisters, what God in His kindness has done through the churches in Macedonia. 2 They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity. For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will.
Verse 3 is a perfect example of James 1:2: they were tested, they were poor, but…big BUT… they were filled with abundant joy. Their joy came from much more than their circumstances; it came from deep within. The Bible Knowledge Commentary (BKC) says, “The Christian’s joy does not spring from his circumstances, but from the blessings that are his because he is in Christ.”
The greek word for joy is chara meaning, “a deep & inner rejoicing which was promised to those who abide in Christ” (BKC). What does John 15:11 say our joy comes from? Or, more specifically, who?
Our joy comes from Christ. If we know Him & He is in us, then we have joy. It is just part of this life. We are to have joy in our circumstances, regardless of what they are. That brings us back around to James 1:3. Why are we to have joy?
Some translations say “steadfastness,” but I love the simplicity in the NLT version:
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
 
It’s good. It is all good. Even when it is bad, in Christ there is a purpose, a reason, and a chance to grow. That, my friends, is a beautiful thing. Knowing that is more than enough to help us walk through this life with a joyful spirit.
          

Back to topShare this on FacebookTweet this post69,109,97,105,108,32,77,101eM liamEPin It!follow me on Instagram