Are you finding yourself needing to fight for JOY this year? In this episode we are going straight to the Bible to see what our source of Joy is and how we can find steadfast joy and peace this year and beyond. Listen in for some deep encouragement today!
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What is true JOY according to God’s Word?
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” – 1 Peter 1:8-9
To set the stage about what we will be talking about, I love this lengthy quote from R.c. Sproul’s book Can I have Joy in My Life? (FREE on Kindle right now!)
“THE WAY TO RECOVER JOY – Paul’s admonition to believers to be joyful presupposes that believers can do something if they find themselves lacking in joy. He is right, of course, and the New Testament is filled with teaching on how to be joyful. The most basic method is to focus our attention on the ground of our joy, the source of our joy. Paul gives one of the most practical of these teachings in Philippians: “Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (4:8). This is a call to meditate upon the things of the Lord, to turn our attention to the things of God. When we find ourselves depressed, down, irritated, annoyed, or otherwise unhappy, we need to return to the source of our joy, and then we will see those circumstances that are sapping our joy in perspective. The circumstances of this life will pale into insignificance when compared to that which we have received from God. Sometimes our joy is determined by the intensity of the latest blessing we experienced at the hands of God. We’re always looking for the mountaintop experience, for a spiritual high that will excite us and fill us with joy, but these intense feelings wear off. When I have things in perspective, I know that if I never experienced another blessing in my entire life other than the blessings I already have received from the hand of God, I would have no possible reason to be anything but overflowing with joy until the day I die. God has already given me so much to be thankful for, so much to provoke my soul to delight, gladness, and joy, that I should be able to live on the basis of that surplus of blessedness and remain joyful all of my days.”
How does joy differ from happiness?
Happiness is a fleeting emotion. And usually a very unstable one. What makes us happy might differ from moment to moment. And what is true happiness anyway? Happiness is easy to get swept away with the troubles of this world.
Joy on the other hand, is a fruit of the Spirit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness,
Why is this significant?
“Paul mentions some of the fruits of the Spirit like “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness” and many others so joy is one of the fruits or the results of having the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. You cannot fake joy…you either have it or you don’t. Paul writes to the church at Thessalonica that “for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit” (1 Thess 1:6) indicating that joy is associated with God the Holy Spirit and that the “righteousness and peace and joy [is] in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17) and finds it source in God as even “the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 13:52).” – Patheos
How can we capture joy in difficult seasons?
So what about joy in difficult seasons? How do we approach this?
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,” – James 1:2
Well if we go on to see the larger context of this verse, it starts to make more sense: “Count it all joy, my brothers,[b] when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.” – James 1:2-6
Joy can feel so impossible when life is hard. R. C. Sproul says ““It is anxiety that robs us of our joy. And what is anxiety but fear? Fear is the enemy of joy. It is hard to be joyful when we are afraid.”
If you are battling with trust or anxiety, I highly recommend the book Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. I think a lot of our fear, anxiety, and un-joyfulness comes from a lack of true trust in the Lord.
“Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the promises of God and cling to them despite the adversity that at times seeks to overwhelms us.” ― Jerry Bridges,
“That brings us back to this matter of how we can be joyful as a matter of discipline or of the will. How is it possible to remain joyful all the time? Paul gives us the key: “Rejoice in the Lord always” (emphasis added). The key to the Christian’s joy is its source, which is the Lord. If Christ is in me and I am in Him, that relationship is not a sometimes experience. The Christian is always in the Lord and the Lord is always in the Christian, and that is always a reason for joy. Even if the Christian cannot rejoice in his circumstances, if he finds himself passing through pain, sorrow, or grief, he still can rejoice in Christ. We rejoice in the Lord, and since He never leaves us or forsakes us, we can rejoice always. – https://www.ligonier.org/
“When we find ourselves depressed, down, irritated, annoyed, or otherwise unhappy, we need to return to the source of our joy, and then we will see those circumstances that are sapping our joy in perspective. The circumstances of this life will pale into insignificance when compared to that which we have received from God.”
― R.C. Sproul,
Practical living in the light of God’s Word
“When I have things in perspective, I know that if I never experienced another blessing in my entire life other than the blessings I already have received from the hand of God, I would have no possible reason to be anything but overflowing with joy until the day I die. God has already given me so much to be thankful for, so much to provoke my soul to delight, gladness, and joy, that I should be able to live on the basis of that surplus of blessedness and remain joyful all of my days.”
― R.C. Sproul,
THIS is the perspective I want to capture. But honestly, it’s not always easy. So in an effort to capture more JOY in my life and model this to my family, I do a few things:
1) LEARN to Trust God more.
2) KNOW God more (open your Bible)
3) TURN your heart back to the Lord in prayer & thanksgiving.
R.C. Sproul leaves us with: “we cannot escape the fact that at the very heart of the Christian faith is the truth that this world is not our home. Our final destination still lies ahead.”
Grab your ticket to this year’s conference!
Did you enjoy this podcast episode? Then you are going to want to grab a ticket to listen to ALL 40 conference sessions all on this topic of Finding Joy in Your Home!
Grab your ticket here: Homemaking Ministries Online Conference. The theme this year is Finding Joy in Your Home. It’s going to be our BEST online conference yet. I invite you to come check out all the speakers, sessions, and other goodies.