As I continue on this walk in faith, I am always finding new layers that the Lord is uncovering. A friend was teaching a class on the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-24). We each picked an apple. My apple had the word "Joy" written on it. She had prayed that each one of us would pick the word we needed. God answered her prayers! Little did she know how much I needed, still need, that word. That apple is hanging by my desk where I see it everyday. It beckons me to seek it. To seek Joy. So that is what I am doing and I hope you will follow along here (and on instagram!) as I seek to understand, know, and feel joy!
Before I can start asking the questions, "what is joy?" or "how and where can I find it?", I must ask a different question first. That question is, why is joy important?? That might seem like a silly question. Everyone wants joy, right? Who doesn't want to feel joyful! But, why is it important? Why should I be seeking it?
There are several reasons to seek joy. Several reasons, why as a Christian, as a believer, and a child of God, my heart needs to be filled with joy.
1. When our joy can be seen outwardly, it shines brightly. It reflects our joyful love and thankfulness for God; shining that light on Christ. By wearing joy as a garment, we are able to display what Christ has done in our own lives.
2. Joy is a necessary and measurable part of spiritual growth. It is a part of the fruit we are to produce. Fruit that is produced by the spirit working in us. What fruit is that exactly? Paul tells us in Galations 5:22-24 that the fruit of the spirit is love, JOY, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If we have no joy, we are not producing all the fruit we are called to. If God did not consider JOY an important part of our faith, not only would it not be mentioned so many times throughout the old and new testament, but it would not be one of the fruits of the spirit.
3. Joy helps us through life's trials. Paul himself is a great example of this. Through all his suffering, his joy is ever-apparent. A God-given joy cannot be crushed by the troubles of this world. It holds you up in your sorrow and strengthens you to persevere.
4. Our own joy ignites and encourages joy in others. Jesus did not come to keep the joy that he offers to himself. He came to share it! Paul was passionate about instilling joy in the churches and people he nurtured! We are called to spread the good news! How can we do this without a joyful heart?
5. The Lord wants us to have a full life, filled with joy (John 15:11). What better reason to seek joy-God desires it for us!
These reasons are more than enough to encouragment on this quest for joy. If you find yourself like me, and the fruit you need to grow is the fruit of JOY or if you just seek to find joy abundantly in your life, join me over the next week as I seek to find more joy!
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