My, Devotion to Him #314
As you may have guessed, this devotional will be about Joy. However, it will not only be Joy that we cover but instead the fruits of the Spirit throughout a series. Each one will undoubtedly vary in length and depth. Though, what can be gathered from each will surely provide something for everyone.
The Bible speaks of joy throughout its pages, and God is of such a nature that He wants us to have and experience the fullness of it. I suspect that we have to break this word down beyond its simple three letters to actually understand what it is and how we apply it in our life.
Joy definition: The feeling of great pleasure and happiness.
We generally experience earthly joy, which is not wrong but temporary, always fleeting, and could never be compared to the superiority of spiritual joy. This earth kind is found in success, good fortune, visiting people you haven’t seen for a while, or other things that might have more defining imprints on your life. Wedding day is generally one of the most joyous occasions around and often times impactful enough that we can recall that day decades later and still pull joy from it. Other events can be your child taking their first steps or seeing them win their first ball game. We can find joy throughout our life, and each event has varying degrees of joy within it.
However, these are the joys of earth. As you’ve probably found out, they cannot fuel a constant state of being. I can recall my daughter hitting her first t-ball and taking off toward first base. My heart swelled with joy; even now, as I write these things, I find that same joy being pulled from that memory at a time when it’s late at night, and my body is tired. You see, joy is not dependent on current circumstances. It is an emotion that can be experienced despite circumstances. That is the basis of joy and an important one moving forward as we grasp the word.
We find natural joy in relationships, events, music, doing something we love, and accomplishing something, but these in their natural form will fade, and you will have to do something else or remember that memory to draw joy once more. Spiritual joy is a consistent flow that is a deep river within.
Spiritual joy allows us to have a joyful heart and express ourselves even under challenging circumstances. Some Christians proclaim to have the joy of God within, and then their face looks like they ate joy for lunch and did not like it. Some seem as if they could simply suck the joy right out from you if you stick around long enough. Now I’m not saying you have to walk around like some crazed person, just smiling all the time and feeling like you are not a Christian if you stop for five minutes (though we have plenty of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ who theorize such a statement. Pray for them.)
What we are trying to get at is joy takes your current situation out of the equation for being happy. That kind of happiness is a roller coaster ride with many ups, downs, and unexpected twists. Chasing happiness will result in a tragic cycle. Whereas spiritual joy can bring you to the river banks of Christ, where happiness can be found at any time.
Verse Passage: 1 Peter 3:9 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” – ESV
Mercy – Salvation – New Self – Heaven
There is a quadruple reason for joy.
Mercy: Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one’s power to punish or harm.
Salvation: Deliverance from harm, ruin, loss, and most importantly hell.
New Self: Born again where the old self is no longer living. Someone who has been made new in the eyes of God.
Heaven: Believer’s new forever home in paradise where the presence of the Eternal and Everlasting God dwells.
Any one of these reasons should be enough to spark joy from within, let alone for us to understand that these are all connected. As believers, we get all four as a package deal! Here is the reason why spiritual joy is far superior. There is nothing on earth that can compare to any of these, let alone all four tied together and given FREELY to those who BELIEVE, CONFESS, and FOLLOW!
Copyright © 2023 by Jacob Olinger