Embracing and Experiencing Joy

I want to offer this disclaimer. I am exploring the notion of Embracing and Experiencing Joy. I will be the first one to admit that I miss the mark on what Paul tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16,“Be joyful always;” Truly, it is the very reason that I am writing about it. Over the course of several weeks, God has made it clear to me that I must embrace and embody joy more than I currently do.

For those of you who really know me, none of you would describe me as a happy-go-lucky person. None would describe me as joyous whether your definition of joy matched God’s or not. Despite that, I want to respond to God’s prompting to improve at Embracing and Experiencing Joy. Why? I call myself a Christian. I can’t simply say that I have never been this or that, so it excuses me from being who God called me to be, who God empowers me to be, who God commands me to be.

For all those who claim to be Christians, let me remind you of what Jesus said in Matthew 7: “16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” We have an obligation as a Christian to cultivate the fruit in our lives.  Galatians 5:22-23 tells us “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” The only fruit worth discussing is the Fruit of the Spirit.

The most common word used in the Old Testament for joy is simchah (sim·khä’: Strong’s H8057). It means to be glad. In the New Testament, the Greek word for joy as in Galatians 5 is chara (khä-rä’:Strong’s G5479). It too means gladness with the emphasis being recieved from God or the cause of it is God. Both the Old and New Testament definitions of joy have that connotation.

That being the case as well as Galatians telling us that joy is a by-product of us being filled with the Spirit, we would do well to set our hearts on Embracing and Experiencing Joy.

Now that we know what to do, tomorrow, we will look at Count It All Joy and Embracing and Experiencing Joy to begin understanding how we can embrace and experience joy.


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