Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”

Strong’s Concordance entry: Joy – chara khar-ah’; cheerfulness, i.e. calm delight:–gladness, X greatly, (X be exceeding) joy(-ful, -fully, -fulness, -ous).

Joy!  This is not just happiness.  This is oh so much more than getting a promotion at work, a new toy, or a good grade on a test.  Happiness is something that is created within oneself.  Joy is a gift from God, given to His people who believe in Him.

John 15:11 “These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”

The verse before John 15:11 talks about the keeping of the commandments and that the love of God is in that person who does.  Jesus kept all the commandments and love is in Him.  There is no coincidence that love is talked about right before joy.  That means that joy is a direct result of love.  If there is no love, there is no joy.

God wants His people to be joyful.  This same joy came when Jesus was born in a manger.  The star that was over the birthplace created joy in the magi that travelled a great distance to see the child.  The star created joy in the shepherds in the field and brought them to the birthplace of Jesus as well.  Where there is God, there is joy.

Joy is not based on an event though.  Joy is based on God.  How much we allow God to be in our lives will affect how much joy we will have.  We limit our joy because of a lack of focus on God.  When praising and worshipping our Lord and Savior, I know that I feel especially joyful.  It is hard not to be joyful when thinking about all that God has done for us.

So the question is, How much joy do you want?  How much of God will you let in so that your joy may be full?  God never limits us.  We limit God.  Let God show you all He can do in your life and I know that your joy will fill more and more.  Does that mean that you won’t be sad ever again?  No!  But with God, Nehemiah 8:10 states, “…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”  If God can bring joy to a people during the time of Nehemiah, who suffered slavery and then came back to a ruined Jerusalem, God can bring joy to you.  Joy, love, strength.  All come from God.  God is the perfect example of all three.  Let God fill your joy levels.  Let your joy be full today!

Heavenly Father,

Come to us today and fill us with your joy.  We need your love and we need for joy.  We know that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, which is the truest form of love.  Our joy comes from the destruction of sin that is accomplished by Jesus’ death on the cross.  Our joy comes from you.  I don’t want to limit you anymore.  I pray that you will shower your love and joy on your people.  Let us open our hearts to your joy.  Your joy.  The joy that will save us.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.  You are an awesome God, who brings joy to a world that is hurting.

In your loving and joyful name I pray,

Amen

 

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