Becoming a Fruit Tree Part 2 : JOY
I love the fruit of the spirit, and am really enjoying this study. Its always good to grow in the simple things. As the simple things come together, they can form a cool new shape that is impressive. The first fruit we studied was Love and now we are moving on to Joy. J-O-Y!!!!! In my head when I hear the word Joy, I hear Wes Hall from IHOP-KC. He says it a lot, and his accent is pleasing to the ears.
Nehemiah 8:10 “…For the joy of The Lord is your strength.”
– Joy is your strength, its a mighty weapon in your hands. Because of this, I thought it would be good to look up the definition of Joy. Here are some of the definitions. This is not the exhaustive list, but the ones that I felt God highlighting to me.
- Bodily Power
- Mental Power
- Moral or Spiritual Power
- Ability to Resist
I love these definitions. Strength is your Physical, Mental and Spiritual Power. It is also your ability to influence and resist. These are such valuable things. Lets start by looking at the physical, mental, and spiritual power aspect to Joy.
Proverbs 17:22 “A Joyful heart is like a good medicine.”
Solomon, who was the worlds wisest man, save for Jesus Himself, penned this little scripture here. When God taught the way of wisdom to Solomon, he taught him this. A Joyful heart is like a good medicine. In modern times we hear it more often said “Laughter is the best medicine.” Science has actually proven this to be true. In my high school psychology class I remember reading about a psychologist who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. He figured if nothing else he should die happy, and he rented a bunch of comedy movies and just watched them for days, laughing till it hurt (so to speak.) But then something miraculous happened, the Joy that he had placed in his heart started to fight back against the cancer. The man literally beat cancer by laughing.
Joy is strength for your body, it helps you to keep healthy. But it is also your spiritual power as well, think about it, read the stories of the early church, you see a picture of Joy, and those people revolutionized the world.
Now I want to look at the influential side of Joy. This is not even simply a biblical principal, in saying that I mean you do not need a doctorate in theology to understand that Joyful people have more friends. People want to be around people who lift their spirits. You want to spend your time with happy people, people who make you smile. In fact in most dating surveys you will find that the number one thing people look for in a mate is someone who makes them happy or someone who makes them laugh. Joy is influential and it is contagious.
Acts 13:52 “…The Disciples were filled with Joy and with the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 15:13 “…May the God of Hope fill you with all joy and peace…”
I love these two verses because they show you something, God gives people joy. He doesn’t want you to be depressed of melancholy. So what ways can we get his Joy? Well, asking him to give you his Joy is a good start, but there is one surefire way I guarantee you will see an increase in joy in your life.
Psalm 16:11 “…In Your Presence there is fullness of Joy.”
If you are lacking joy in your life, I would suggest you get in his presence. You can do this through prayer, worship, fasting among other things, but the key is to get there. For me, Worship is the quickest way into his presence. I begin to worship, or soak with worship, and suddenly I begin to feel his presence envelop me like a cloak or a blanket.
Another key to maintaining your Joy is your words. What you say has a big impact on your joy.
Proverbs 15:23 “A man has Joy in the words of his mouth…”
Once again, Solomon who was a fount of wisdom has more to speak on the topic of Joy. He gives us clear instructions that our words will determine our joy. If you lack joy, begin to declare the Good things. As you do, your joy will increase.
Proverbs 12:20 “Deceit is in the heart of those who desire evil, but counselors of Peace have Joy.”
Solomon, who was indeed a champ when it comes to wisdom tells us here about how Joy is our power to resist. We are to be counselors of peace. Ones who take the volatile and bring peace. He describes those types of people as once who have Joy. Joy will give us the ability to stand in the midst of temptation and sin and not succumb to it, and furthermore it will be our strength to change it. I think this is just plain awesome.
The las thing I want to talk about is the power of Joy in response to weeping.
Ezra 3:12-13 “Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far away.”
The older men remembered Solomon’s temple. As I have mentioned before, Solomon was a champ, and his temple was evidence. It should be regarded among the wonders of the world. However the Second temple was decent at best and by no means as cool as the original. However, the younger generation had not seen the first temple. So while the older men wept because they knew it wasn’t as good as before, the young men praised and Joy filled their hearts because this was the temple, finally they had the place for the worship of God once more.
The sound of the shouts of Joy were so loud that they just plain drowned out the weeping. Joy trumped weeping. More examples of this can be found in the Bible.
Isaiah 61:3 “…The Oil of Joy for Mourning.”
Psalms 126:5 :They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.”
God will take our mourning, weeping, heaviness, sorrow, and in its place he will give us joy.
I thank you for taking the time to read and study with me. Part 3, Peace will be up soon. As always, comments, questions and discussions are always welcome. Blessings.