Thursday, March 1, 2018

But the fruit of the Spirit is . . . joy

A Fruitful Year

Just in case you didn't realise it already, it is March. January and February are gone. They went fast. Here at our house it looks a bit more like winter than like spring. We have been experiencing below freezing temperature and we have snow on the ground and more forecasted. That is unusual for here. So I am trying to wrap my head around the fact that it is March already.

As we continue with A Fruitful Year,  March will continue the focus on the Fruit of the Spirit and this month we will focus on joy.

I spent the past few weeks thinking, reading, pondering Biblical Joy. What is the joy that the Bible talks about? It is listed second as one of the Fruits of the Spirit. Paul tells us in I Thessalonians 5:16, "Rejoice always." (ESV) The whole book of Philippians speaks about joy.

What is joy? The dictionary is not the place to go for the answer. It just says it is happiness. No, that is not Biblical joy. That didn't help. I was still pondering, what is joy?

What is joy? As I read various passages of scripture, read some articles, and read The New International Dictionary of new Testament Theology, Joy is an emotion but one that is not just based on what is happening around us. I think the best way to describe joy is that joy is flows from where we have placed our hope and the confidence of our faith.

Fruit of the Spirit A Fruitful Year

So we need to ask the question where we have placed our hope and the confidence of our faith. When our hope is in God and what he has done and will continue to do, we can have joy. When we have confidence of who God is and what he will do, we can have joy. Based on that we can have joy even in difficult times. That is what makes joy more than just happiness.

What are some other words in the Bible that are related to joy? That was one of the questions that I pondered. Glad is one of those. I think of Psalm 100:2 "Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!" (ESV) Delight is another word that the Bible uses which is related to joy.

So what makes you glad? What do you delight in? That will give you a bit of insight into where you find joy.

Over the next few weeks, I will talk a bit more about joy with the goal of each of us understanding Biblical joy, looking at what steals our joy, and how we can regain joy in our lives.

What brings you joy? Leave a response in the comments.


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