Did you know that if you are born again, you DO have joy?
Galatians 5 tells us the list of the fruit of the spirit. Notice there it says the "Fruit of the spirit is love..." Then it goes on to list the others. All the other fruit come out of love. I once studied the fruit of the spirit from a "forever long" vhs series by Gloria Copeland (along with several other resources), dissecting it over about a year when we lived in India. It was a truly fascinating study. Here are the highlights of what I’ve learned…
“And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:5 NIV
A little simple logic:
A- According to this verse, love was given to all of us when we were born again. Furthermore, God is love. And when we are born again, God (love), comes to dwell inside of us.
B- If joy is part of love, then joy was also given to us when we were born again, so that means you DO have joy on the inside of you, if you are a believer. It is there. You may need to stir it up, get it activated, yield to it, but it IS there! Isn't that alone, GREAT news?! According to Harvard, Zig Ziglar, and Google, happiness is what people are searching for, yet joy was given to us as followers of Christ. In one given month, Google reported 5,000,000 people asked this question, "What is happiness?" I guarantee you many of those were Christians asking Google that question. Why is that? Keep reading.
C- What if you are in a place like I was? Quite frankly, we all get to this place or some version of that place of grumpy, sad, bothered, worried, or down right depressed if we possess any estrogen at all. Can I get an Amen?! So whether you just need a slight "pick me up" this year, or a huge overhaul emotionally like I did 2 years ago, that's what my book, "Happy ANYWAY," is all about. That's what the #happyMONDAYblog is all about—helping us all maintain that joy through a happy sisterhood. Commercial over! Back to…what if we have lost our happy but want it back?! Listen, this is the key whether in atrocious traffic or in terrible trauma...
“O LORD my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me. O LORD, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning. Now in my prosperity I said, “I shall never be moved.” LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain stand strong; You hid Your face, and I was troubled.”
Psalms 30:2-7 NKJV
So this tells us, sorrow may last for a night, but GOOD NEWS! There can be an end to sorrow. Joy comes in the morning. Back up to the first verse as well, hope is huge. Keep yielding to hope, which turns into faith and results in joy as we yield to the love that was given to us! Yes, we feel like God hides His face from us at times, but if you read the rest of that chapter, you see it always works out for us if we trust Him. And I love that part that says, "I will never be moved." THAT is our hope, that is how we actually CAN live if we WILL.
Quick recap -
A- We are all given love when we are born again.
B- Joy is part of love, so we have joy. We just have to learn how to enjoy that joy which is the definition of hApPy! Happy is enjoying joy. What good is it to have joy if you're not going to use it? You can have all the money in the world, but if you don't know it, you can live without unnecessarily. That is what sad Christians are like. We have a wealth of joy, love, and strength on the inside of us going to waste if we don't learn to tap into it and enjoy it!
C- So what if you lost it all? Well, let's think about that like if it were money, too. It would certainly be difficult, and we have all heard of story after story of people who have experienced that, but if you knew how to get it in the first place, you CAN recover. You gotta want to recover. You gotta DO what it takes to get back on your feet. People do it all the time. Is it hard? Hell on Earth kind of hard? Yeppers. And guess what, if you are reading this, and you have absolutely lost your happy, you CAN be happy again! You absolutely can. Will you? Mark a line in the sand this year. Look at 2016 as the morning. Joy comes in the morning! Just say, "Enough already." Grab a copy of Happy Anyway on the website or on Amazon. Get determined to take what belongs to you this year. Enjoy your joy and be happy ANYWAY!