Last week it was love, now it's joy's turn....

Not that Joy...

Joy. So elusive, so... hard to define. It's not just happiness, so what is it?

Joy is the second fruit of the Spirit. While we all know how love works, joy can be harder to figure out, and for good reason. After all, when you've got so much on your chest, is it ever easy to find the "Joy of the Lord"?

Joy, it turns out, is just as much an action as love. But more than that, it's a choice you have to make. It's not just singing in the rain, although it's that too.

No, joy is standing in the wall of the hurricane, tears streaming down your face and your heart slowly shattering inside you, while you stand there and whisper, "Not my will but yours, and I will be glad of it."

Joy is taking the bread and the wine and worshipping.

Joy is when you remember, no matter what, that Jesus loves you. You were a child of wrath, destined for hell, but he gave his life to pay the ransom for your sins. You will live eternally.

In this book called Uneclipsing the Son, the author makes an interesting statement on John 3:16: [paraphrased] "What if when the Bible mentions eternal life, it means it starts right now? What if the eternal life is not just the fact that we will literally live forever in Heaven, but starts at the moment of salvation and continues throughout our lives in our relationship with Jesus?"

Consider this: If eternal life is being with God forever, than we should be overflowing with joy. When God is not in our lives, there is an infinite abyss that cannot be filled, and all the pleasures of the world can't fill it. We must let him fill us. No matter how little we realize it (contrary to popular belief, the average atheist doesn't sit around twiddling his thumbs like "Why do I feel like I'm so empty? I must need God!") we are empty without him, hollow shells of men and women who cannot exist on our own. We are zombies, lurching around in search of the next meal that never satisfies.
That's why we need joy.

The joy that we receive from God is, more than anything, I think, contentment. It is knowing that he is with us and we will never be shaken (more on that next week when I get to peace.) It is the story of our lives as defined by Jesus. If we delight ourselves in the Lord, joy and contentment will just bubble out of us like a fountain. We should always aspire to find our joy in Jesus and Jesus alone.


Shorter post today, but I hope you enjoyed. Stay tuned for Thursday, because I have another blog tour set to happen then about a book that I'm thrilled to tell all of y'all about!

Where do you find your joy? Are you so proud of me for being able to get into another blog tour? (Hint: It's Marissa Meyer's newest book. [Hahahaha I wish]). Chat with me!

Comments

  1. Another beautiful post. I like the beginning when you said, "Not that Joy."
    (I personally didn't like inside out, but the gif still makes me smile. It's just so joyful!)
    Joy can be extremely hard to find. It can also sometimes be hard to hold onto. But the comfort that Jesus loves us anyway is still always a reminder of why we should be joyful in all situations. (Doesn't mean we'll succeed in that, but we can strive for it.)
    God bless you!
    <3

    iviewrites.blogspot.com

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    1. XD aww, why didn't you like Inside Out? I get that it's not for everyone... I really enjoyed it though.

      It is very hard. But Jesus will always be with us. And I think that's the only way to truly find "happiness."

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    2. Um, I don't know if there was any specific reason. There was so much hype about it and it didn't live up to the expectations. A lot of people were going on and on about it being so great and really giving a peak into the human mind and it was just another disney adventure cartoon. I guess the hype probably ruined it. It wasn't bad, but not a family favorite here, lol. But I still like the memes and gifs.

      True happiness is only found in Jesus. That's absolutely correct. Happiness is a fleeting thing, but Joy last through all circumstance.
      :D

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  2. I always thought that James 1:2 (Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.), it meant you should be happy all the time. But ,no. That is not what it means. It means that in moments that you just want to give up and curl up and die, don't be hateful and angry, picture God. Picture him ging through what you went through. God got through those hard times. I mean, he died on the cross for us. That was a really hard thing to do, and was he happy that he was been beaten and nailed to a cross. Probably not...but he also didn't blast 'em all when he could have. He had self control. God died so we wouldn't have to suffer the death penalty of our sins.
    Hebrews 12:2 —looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.——————So, God died for he was joyful of what was to come. The joy of having us. So, just knowing that God went through all that pain to save us instead of letting us lead ourselves to hell, is enough for our hearts to overflow with joy. I mean, would you die for the world. Would you die for that person who's been bullying you? That abuser? Your ex?

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  3. Joy's super hard to find, and honestly like you said, we need to let God fill us with joy in order to experience it. I once hit a hard and dark point in my life to the point where I just wanted to cease living and tried to cease, and honestly, it sucked. But I met this trio that I'm pretty sure God sent to me, and that was the first time I understood the meaning of what joy was. <3 I know He loves me, and I can't thank Him enough for saving me (but then, He's saved us all already).

    xoxo Abigail Lennah | ups & downs

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    1. I'm so glad you found that life is worth living and I'm sorry you ever felt that way. Life can be hard and at times, we begin to wonder why we were put here. Why do we have to suffer the pain we're in? Jesus doesn't want us to suffer. But without suffering, we wouldn't know what true happiness and joy is.
      Pain is temporary. Victory is forever. Eternal even.
      God bless you, Abigail.

      iviewrites.blogspot.com

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    2. I'm so glad you found them, Abigail. Jesus is always in sovereign command and there was a reason you experienced that time. God does love you :)

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  4. Jesus first
    Others second
    Yourself last
    You did an amazing job typing this out! Joy is the thing I wish I had more of but I dont ;P Joy is trust in my opinion. In order to have one you need the other..

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  5. I've really been feeling God showing me just how vast and wild His love for His children is. He adores us, and just like the good Father He is, wants to fill us with unimaginable, all-consuming joy that speaks of His glory.

    I love this post! It's always so good to be reminded how important joy is. :)

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  6. Beautifully said, Faith. It's also important to remember that 'joy' and 'happiness' are totally different. People nowadays seem to get that mixed up. Joy can only come from the Lord, while happiness is from man, and fleeting at that. Joy lasts for all time. <3 Thanks for sharing!!

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    Replies
    1. Yes. Joy is eternal, while happiness can only be temporary. :)

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  7. Lovely post. My mom always use to say that "joy" stood for
    Jesus
    Others
    Yourself

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  8. "no, not that joy" Heh heh
    As much as I loved Inside Out, it kind of irked me that joy was portrayed as just an emotion (albeit, personified). The real thing is so much deeper than that.

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    Replies
    1. I feel ya on that. It's probably just that Joy is a more snappy name for a protagonist than "happiness".

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