As Christmas approaches very quickly we often become to busy with shopping, cooking, parties, and family gatherings to realize the true joy within our lives. While spending time with loved ones important this season as it should be all the time, let’s take a deep look into the term joy. As you read this article of mine, list some of the struggles you are going through in life whether it be health, family, financial, or emotional, and see how you can apply joy to that particular situation.
Galatians chapter 5 discusses the nine fruits of the Spirit which help us walk in the Holy Spirit. The nine fruits of the Spirit are characteristics one should have that is a true follower of Christ. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things, there is no law.”. Joy is happiness from the consistent promises of God within His word. We have joy when God gives us provisions according to His word. This can come from anything from a healing to a financial need that is supernaturally met. If you are a true born-again Christian then you already have one thing to be joyful for, and that is your salvation. Psalm 21:1 says, “O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults!”.
So why should we always be joyful? Since joy is one of the nine fruits of the Spirit we must apply joy to our character. When we apply the fruits of the Spirit to our character, we are walking within the Spirit and not the flesh. Galatians 5:16 says, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.”. You might be weak in one of the nine fruits of the Spirit if so turn to God to help you with your weakness. We must remember our strength comes from the Lord. 1 Chronicles 16:11 says, “Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!”.
So why must you apply joy even when going through a rough patch in life? First Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”. Notice the scriptures uses the word abound which has the following synonyms listed in the Webster’s dictionary: be plentiful, be abundant, be numerous, be full of, and overflow with. Also, Romans 12:12 says, “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”. The more time we spend rejoicing and in prayer, the less stressed out we will be. Spending time worrying is just wasting time that you could be praying. We are to continue our joy even in trials, and our perseverance during our trials will be dependent upon our joy. James 1:2 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds”.
When we get distracted by things of the flesh we walk out of the Spirit. This can make our circumstances worse for us because when we walk by flesh and not Spirit it opens the door for the enemy to work. John 16:22 says, “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”. While we will have our trials here on Earth, we must remember that if our hearts are right and if we are walking in the Spirit we have eternal life. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” The scripture of John 3:16 is one reason every believer should be filled with joy. Many secular views tell us that heaven will be a place of partying and a good time. This secular view is completely wrong and will hinder one from walking within the Spirit. Heaven will be a place of praise and worship to our creator. Romans 14:17 tells us, “For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”. I believe that God wants us to walk in the Spirit as much as possible when we are here on Earth so that we can rejoice in heaven.
I challenge you to be filled with joy during times of struggle and seek God for strength. By walking in the Spirit and not the flesh, we can expect to see more of God’s promises in our lives. Also by spending less time worrying, and more time in prayer, we will have more hope. As Christmas approaches quickly, be joyful for at least one thing, if not more, and that is the birth of our Savior.